4 Heat players who failed to meet expectations this season

Who on the Heat’s roster is to blame for failed expectations this season? We rank them below. 
San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat
San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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3. Caleb Martin

Caleb Martin has faced a challenging season due to injuries, impacting his consistency. While Martin's regular season in 2022-23 was marked by inconsistency, he stepped up when Miami needed him the most. Despite beginning the season playing out of position, Martin started 49 games at power forward before the Heat acquired Kevin Love in February of this year. Caleb showcased this resilience when he was used as a reserve player until the Heat required him to resume his starting position during the Eastern Conference finals, where he delivered an impressive standout performance.

During Game 7 against the Celtics, Martin scored 26 points on 11 of 16 shooting, in addition to securing 10 rebounds and providing three assists. This outstanding display of skill and contribution earned him consideration for the title of Eastern Conference finals MVP.

Although his NBA Finals showing wasn't as strong, Martin's contributions have been vital. In the current 2023-24 NBA season, the Heat heavily rely on Martin to be their most valuable player coming off the bench. Despite playing fewer minutes, he's having one of his best seasons, achieving a career-best average of 10.1 points per game, demonstrating his scoring reliability and improvement in shooting. Additionally, Caleb's field goal attempts have increased to a career-high 8.6 shots per game, showing signs of improvement in his shooting and playmaking abilities compared to last year. 

However, this was supposed to be the season where Martin would build upon his success in the previous playoffs. Unfortunately, his progress was hindered by an early-season issue with his left knee, causing him to miss 10 consecutive games due to left knee tendinosis. He also missed seven more games in late December and early January due to a midseason sprained right ankle. This has affected his momentum and raised questions about his future with the team.

After overcoming these setbacks, Martin showed significant improvement post-All-Star break this February, contributing big minutes both offensively and defensively. Miami values Martin highly, especially for his defensive versatility and improved 3-point shooting, essential for the team's championship aspirations.

Despite dealing with a sprained thumb, which might require off-season surgery, Martin remains focused and undeterred. With each season, Caleb reaches new highs, potentially leading to him opting out of the final year of his current $20.4 million contract in 2024-25 for a more lucrative free-agency deal this summer. Martin's primary goal remains to contribute to the Heat's championship quest, though staying healthy is crucial for achieving this.