Following the conclusion of the intense Eastern Conference Finals between the Heat and the Celtics, Draymond Green took the time to praise Caleb Martin for his outstanding contributions throughout the series. Despite Miami’s Jimmy Butler ultimately being awarded the Conference Finals MVP, Green firmly believed that Martin deserved recognition for his exceptional consistency and impact on the court.
During a recent episode of his podcast, Green highlighted Martin’s remarkable performance, particularly his impressive scoring average of 19 points on 60% shooting and 49% from beyond the arc. The 27-year-old’s offensive contributions played a crucial role in the Heat’s success against the Celtics.
“Caleb Martin averaged 19 [points] on 60% shooting and 49% from three,” the four-time NBA champion said. “I’m never mad at Jimmy Butler winning the Conference Finals MVP because Jimmy Butler is Jimmy Butler and quite frankly none of this goes without Jimmy Butler, like the Miami Heat none of that works without Jimmy.
“Jimmy actually finished with 28-6-7, had a much better game today than he’s had the past three and Jimmy is their guy. We know that. Never taking anything away from Jimmy. Congrats to him on the award.”
Green made it clear that he had immense respect for Butler’s contributions to the Heat, acknowledging that none of their success would have been possible without the star player. However, he argued that Martin’s consistent performance across the board deserved recognition.
“If I had a vote, I personally was voting for Caleb Martin for MVP,” Green stated. “I think he was extremely consistent across the board. I think he was really good across the board.”
Highlighting Martin’s journey from going undrafted in 2019 to becoming a key player for the Heat, Green expressed his belief that this could be a rare opportunity for the young player to receive such recognition. While he acknowledged Butler’s importance to the team’s success and expected future appearances in the Conference Finals, Green felt that Martin’s exceptional performance should not be overlooked.
“And my thought with [the Heat] always getting back there is like Jimmy Butler is going to have another opportunity,” Green continued. “Who’s to say Caleb Martin will probably never have another opportunity to win and MVP award like that. And quite frankly he earned it. Again, he earned if he won. I’m not saying Jimmy shouldn’t have won. So let’s not do that here. I don’t roll like that. Not hating on anything. But he earned the right to be in that conversation.”
Furthermore, Green shed light on Butler’s character, stating that he believed Butler would have been pleased to see Martin receive the MVP award. He emphasized that Butler prioritizes team success over individual accolades and commended his role as a mentor to young players like Martin.
“Jimmy actually probably would have preferred Caleb Martin to get the MVP,” Green said. “That’s just how Jimmy is like. Jimmy don’t want to play in All-Star Games, he just don’t get off on all that stuff. He don’t. That’s just not the type of stuff that it just doesn’t get Jimmy off. Jimmy wants to win and all of that and play well obviously great, but he don’t get off on all that stuff.”