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May 21, 2023

Caleb Martin

Miami Heat

Game 3: Postgame

Miami Heat 128, Boston Celtics 102

Q. Caleb, even going back to last year, your confidence has never really been in question but after the year you guys have had collectively, just where has the confidence we've seen for the last five weeks come from?

CALEB MARTIN: I don't know, I think like you said, it's always been there. Just the season, the regular season, has been a roller coaster, so I think the fact that we got our foot in the door in the playoffs. And I think we take our chances with any team that has to beat us four times. You know what I mean, I think that's what it is, and I think that we just understand that, you know, all the way down the line from Spo all the way down to the last guy on the bench, that we believe in each other and we are a connected group, and that we'll find ways to win games.

Q. Teams that go up 2-0, it would be natural to ease off and let the Celtics get one here. What was the mindset coming into this one and what does 3-0 mean to you guys?

CALEB MARTIN: To me personally, I mean, I think I could speak for everybody in the locker room but we understand that it's not done. Like I was saying, it's not first to three, it's first to four, so crazy things happen. Crazier things has happened, and we're going to understand the history of that team. It's a winning organization, and they are going to come out and try to grab a game and go back to Boston.

So we've got to do everything in our power to understand it's got to be the toughest game yet and try to close it out at home.

Q. So many of you guys are playing well around Bam and Jimmy. What do you feel like you guys have proved as far as the depth of this team during this playoff run?

CALEB MARTIN: I think just a lot of credit to those two guys who just get everybody involved. They could easily take every shot they wanted to now, with guys down, guys like Tyler that are out. He'd typically take those shots.

That just shows the belief they have in us. And asking where the confidence comes from, a lot of it stems from those two guys, too, just believing in us and getting us open looks and believing we'll knock them down, whether we make or miss, continue to make the right plays.

It's hard not to gain confidence, gain rhythm, and want to make those shots for those guys.

Q. Beyond just the shooting for everybody, when the offense was not going great this season, what have you guys built in terms of the way the offense actually runs that has set all of you up for success?

CALEB MARTIN: There's a lot of different moving parts, you know what I mean. Duncan was in and out all year. You have Kyle who was starting and he's coming off the bench. There's a lot of moving pieces. Just the willingness for everybody to fit in, whether they are starting, coming off the bench, whether you're playing or not, it's really impressive all the way down the line, for some people being in some lineups, moving around, shifting a lot. You have Duncan not playing a lot, he comes in, he's been huge in the postseason for us it. Goes all the way down the line, man. Like I said, it's the willingness of guys to accept whatever it is that they need to do in order for us to move the needle, and I think that's been big for us. I think that we've gained that connectivity throughout the season that prepared us for these moments.

Q. You talked a lot about the way you've attacked closeouts, attacking the front foot, but what makes it different this series the way you're doing it, because obviously there's different matchups?

CALEB MARTIN: Yeah, I just think it's probably based off personnel, and you know, spacing on the court. I understand I'm going to have some of the bigger guys on me, but they are going to be coming off help side and off Jimmy, sometimes doubles, and you know, I'm just trying to be aggressive and take some weight off those guys. But you know, just also be myself and like I said, when I'm confident and go all the way down the line, a lot of guys are capable of a lot of things.

It's only going to be beneficial when we are all aggressive and assertive like that.

Q. Was this game the perfect example of Heat culture, you, Gabe, Duncan, all stepping up as top players of the game?

CALEB MARTIN: Yeah, I think most importantly, I think it was the fact that we handled being up 2-0 right now and then playing at home, I think that we -- naturally sometimes you let off the gas because you know you're at home, you try to rely on the crowd to win the game for you and score in bunches, feeding off the environment.

But I think that we made a point coming in with the approach, with the right approach and mentality that they were going to come in and give everything they had, and just weathered whatever storm they had coming. So we're just going to have to stay with the same mindset in Game 4.

Q. Going back to last year's Conference Finals, the Heat went through about ten months of frustration and disappointment, and I know you're not quite done with this series yet but is there something that is the most gratifying about the playoff success that you're enjoying now?

CALEB MARTIN: I just think that we got the matchup we wanted. We got to see the team who took us out last year, and there's nothing like a second crack at it. So I think that we are just trying to take advantage of that, and you know, we are playing like we have something to prove. We're just a bunch of guys with a chip on our shoulder, so we just want to continue to prove that.

Q. Tatum and Brown were two of the top scorers in the league all year. What have y'all done, especially in the last two games, just to be effective against them defensively?

CALEB MARTIN: I just think that we're just playing really hard, trying to be in the right spots, trying to do everything we can to make it tough on those guys. Like you said, they are two of the best scorers in the league. They are bound to score the ball and make things tough on us regardless what coverage they see.

But I think that we've just been -- being brought in on the defensive end and having each other's backs and believing in the game plan that Spo puts front of us. I think the biggest thing is just being on the same page.

Q. So the Heat's impressive journey has got a lot of attention and support recently. How do you plan to handle the increased expectation that comes with such attention? Will it be pressure?

CALEB MARTIN: To me, personally, I think that the best thing you can do is kind of just put it in the rearview. That comes with it, that type of stuff comes with it. There's going to be opinions, expectations, whatever it is. I think we're playing for each other in that locker room, and I think that cancels out all the pressures.

We believe in each other and we love playing with each other and we are flowing and playing great and we're having fun more than anything. I think that cancels out all the pressure because we are not worried about what everybody else is saying. We are just worried about each other in the locker room.

Q. I know the series isn't over but as an 8th seed what does it feel like for you guys to do this to the two teams that were considered the favorites coming into these playoffs and what does it feel like to be able to pull that off?

CALEB MARTIN: It feels good. But like you said -- it feels good obviously because we are the 8th seed but at the same time we put ourselves in that position.

You know, we're not playing to prove nobody wrong. We playing to win a championship. Like that's been the goal all season. It's not like we are just trying to beat teams so we can talk, talk trash after we beat somebody, whatever.

We know what we are capable of. We expected this team and this group to get to where we're at right now and continue to go further, and we are going to continue to play like that, and, you know, find ways to get to a place where we all are bought in to want to get to at the beginning of the season, this summer. We're playing for each other.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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