BOSTON — With barely a minute left in the fourth quarter, the final seconds of an inevitable Celtics’ Game 1 victory over the Heat turned into a collective sigh of concern at TD Garden with all eyes on Jayson Tatum.

As Tatum leaped for a rebound after a miss from Bam Adebayo, Miami’s Caleb Martin snuck up from underneath Tatum, causing the Celtics star to land hard on the parquet floor. Nothing about the play was necessary, and although Tatum dusted off the dirty hit from Martin, the NBA shouldn’t overlook it either heading into Wednesday night’s Game 2.

“I feel fine,” Tatum said after Boston defeated Miami 114-94. “I didn’t see (anything). I went to go get the rebound, got knocked out there, fell, and I got right up to go shoot some free throws.”

Catching a player’s blind spot from behind is a dangerous move to pull, especially when said player’s feet are already above the ground. That goes without saying. So for Martin to recklessly attack Tatum in a vulnerable state, speaks levels to the lengths he’s willing to go to, unless the NBA intervenes and holds him accountable moving forward.

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“It’s a physical game, playing against a physical team,” Tatum added. “(Expletive) gonna happen. It’s not the last time I’m probably gonna get hit like that or fouled in this series. I wasn’t hurt. You get hit like that, just get up.”

It doesn’t matter if Jimmy Butler’s sidelined and the Heat are rummaging for points, rebounds, 3-pointers and a respectable scoreboard output. Seemingly going toward an intentional extent to nearly harming the opposing team’s star player is intolerable behavior, especially in the playoffs.

Martin’s antics sparked a response as Jaylen Brown took exception and jawed at him, inches away from his face. Celtics assistant coach Anthony Dobbins rushed toward Brown to help ease the tension while Tatum brushed off the fall and led both teams to the free throw.

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“I was waiting to see what (Tatum) was going to do,” Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla said. “I was kind of excited about the whole situation. I enjoyed watching it.”

Whatever Martin’s intentions were, they made zero impact in helping bridge Miami’s gap with Boston. Tatum scored 23 points, unbothered by a 1-for-8 shooting performance from three, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out 10 assists. The deal was sealed long before Martin resorted to a vicious streetball tactic, leaving the Heat to work from behind and extend the series.

The NBA has plenty of time to review the film and come to its conclusion before both sides meet again at TD Garden on Wednesday.

Featured image via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images