It didn’t take long for a postseason villain to emerge for the Boston Celtics.

Heat forward Caleb Martin certainly made himself a prime candidate for that role after being at the center of a late-game skirmish in Miami’s Game 1 loss to the Celtics on Sunday at TD Garden.

With Boston cruising to a win and a minute left in the fourth quarter, Martin ran through the lane looking for an offensive rebound but upended Celtics star Jayson Tatum in a hard collision. Tatum crashed to the court, but didn’t appear to suffer an injury.

Jaylen Brown made his feelings known about the play as he immediately got in Martin’s face and confronted Martin. They exchanged words after being separated.

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Martin had his chance to share his side of what happened following Miami’s 114-94 defeat.

“Just hard foul. Trying to stick up for his teammate,” Martin told reporters, per CLNS Media’s Bobby Manning. “I tried to go help him up. I just heard him hit the floor. I know I hit him pretty hard, but momentum was carrying me. I think I got pushed into that direction. But you know, hard foul. Tried to pick him up. That’s just what it is. Jimmy (Butler) on the floor, I would have done the same I’m sure. Just what it is.”

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Martin and Brown both were assessed a technical foul for their actions.

Martin was a hero for the Heat in last year’s Eastern Conference finals against the Celtics. He came close to winning conference finals MVP honors after averaging 19.3 points while shooting 60.2% from the field and 42.9% from 3-point range to go along with 6.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists.

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But Martin didn’t have nearly the same impact to open up the NBA playoffs Sunday. He notched just four points as the Celtics led wire-to-wire.

And now Martin will have even more pressure on him to respond in Game 2, especially after he turned himself into a target due to his dust-up with the Celtics.

Featured image via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images