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Celtics Announcer Calls Out Caleb Martin, Heat for ‘Shady’ Hit on Jayson Tatum

The playoff series between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat just got a little more interesting after star player Jayson Tatum was on the receiving end of what some believed to be a dirty play.

In the Celtics’ 114–94 win over the Heat in Game 1 of the series at TD Garden on Sunday, Tatum went up for a defensive rebound in the fourth quarter and took a painful mid-air bodycheck from the Heat’s Caleb Martin. Tatum fell awkwardly on the ground but quickly got up and fortunately appeared to avoid serious injury.

Martin and Celtics wing Jaylen Brown exchanged harsh words with Martin in the ensuing dust-up, and were each assessed double technicals.

Boston broadcaster and ex-Celtics player Brian Scalabrine believed Martin’s foul on Tatum was a low blow, literally and figuratively. 

“I’m not trying to start nothing here, but Eric Spoelstra called a timeout with 1:30 down by 16,” Scalabrine said on Sunday. “Thirty seconds later, that play happens…I don’t know, man. That looked shady to me.”

Scalabrine went on to describe the hard foul as a “dirty play” and suggested that Martin should receive a suspension. 

Tatum addressed the incident in a postgame press conference and simply called it “playoff basketball.”

“I feel fine,” Tatum told reporters. “I didn't see it. I went to get the rebound, got knocked up there, fell, got right back up, and [was ready] to shoot some free throws…It’s playoff basketball. It’s a physical game.” 

In Sunday’s win, Tatum recorded 23 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his first career playoff triple-double. The Celtics will face the Heat in Game 2 of the series in TD Garden on Wednesday.