With the Boston Celtics finishing as the league's best team in the regular season (64-18), it was hardly a surprise that they beat the eighth-seeded Miami Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Sunday. However, there was a certain play at the end of the game that caused an audible gasp from the Boston faithful.

With one minute left, the competitive portion of the game had long been over. However, that didn't stop Heat forward Caleb Martin from committing a dangerous foul on Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum. Former Celtic Brian Scalabrine was appalled by the play, calling for Martin's suspension on the NBC Sports broadcast.

Did Scalabrine overreact, or was he on to something? How will this impact the rest of the series?

The Celtics had a right to be upset about Martin's foul

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) controls the ball while Miami Heat forward Caleb Martin (16) defends during the second half in game one of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at TD Garden.
© Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

While it may be bold to accuse a team of trying to injure a player, there were some suspicious circumstances surrounding this incident. First of all, it was strange for Miami coach Erik Spoelstra to call a timeout down by 14 with 1:30 left in the game. There was virtually no chance of the Heat coming back in that little amount of time, so it was essentially delaying the inevitable.

On top of that, Martin trucked Tatum just 30 seconds later. Tatum was going up for a rebound, leaving himself in a defenseless position. Martin upended him from behind, causing Tatum to land on his back in a scary fall. Luckily, the five-time All-Star got right back up, lowering the blood pressure of Boston fans across the globe.

Martin extended his hand to help Tatum up, but Celtics guard Jaylen Brown then slapped it away, causing a heated exchange. Both players were issued with technical fouls.

Tatum didn't seem to harbor any resentment postgame, via Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston.

“Just understanding it's playoff basketball,” Tatum said. “A physical game, playing against a physical team, s–t's gonna happen. It's not the last time I'm probably going to get hit like that or fouled in this series. I wasn't hurt.”

While Tatum's attitude was admirable, the Heat should be careful going forward. They had already been considered a dirty team by some people before this foul, so this will only emphasize that perception further. Boston center Kristaps Porzingis even mentioned it before the series started, via Sportskeeda's Miguel de Guzman.

“Of course, they're gonna be, we have to expect them to be ultra aggressive, ultra like handsy, and trying to do all the little dirty things they can,” Porzingis said.

It's one thing to be physical, but committing hard fouls with the game being out of hand is another thing entirely. Whether it was an orchestrated play or a true accident, the last thing Miami needs is a target on its back. The club is already without its star player Jimmy Butler after he hurt his leg in the Play-In Tournament, so they can ill-afford more injuries due to any potential retaliations. Of course, these types of plays could result in suspensions as well.

While Tatum came out unscathed this time, this type of play would be a terrible look for the NBA if it resulted in a major injury to a star. The Heat must refrain from committing any more suspicious-looking fouls going forward, as that could come back to haunt them in multiple ways.