“I think he’ll be very good in the D-League, because there’s not a lot of bigs, so I’m expecting him to almost be dominant,” said Rivers. “I don’t think he’ll see anyone his size, or very few guys. [Former Celtics center Greg] Stiemsma is in Minnesota, and Stiemsma was dominant [in the D-League] — bigs are usually dominant down there.”
Doc Rivers expects Fab Melo to dominate at the D-League level. Shouldn’t he? Melo has the size and strength to make an impact now, but he is just taking longer to learn and Doc went on to cite that Melo hasn’t been playing basketball as long as Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Hornets has. That means this is going to take time.
The C’s didn’t draft Melo because they thought he would contribute immediately, but rather because they think he can big time, once he finally does.
Melo has more upside than a guy like Festus Ezeli, and Danny Ainge wanted to swing for the fences.
While I still don’t expect Melo to be any better than a peak Samuel Dalembert, that would be adequate payoff for a No. 22 overall pick. He’ll have to hammer away at it and take advantage of PT in the D-League to come back strong and just improve a lot by working on things against premier competition. The D-League isn’t the NBA, but it is still tougher than a D-1 NCAA program is, and Melo will have his work cut out for him.
Melo can dominate, but as to whether he will or not depends on if he is going to do the things well that he already does well—blocking shots and rebounding—while learning to score better and work on his footwork. If all that goes according to plan, Ainge’s plan to send him to the D-League will work out all right.