In the Boston Celtics game against the Washington Wizards last week, Tacko Fall impressed many with his increased playing time. With his play, is it a sign that he can crack the rotation?
With COVID-19 hitting the Boston Celtics hard this past week, fan-favorite Tacko Fall was able to get the first real meaningful minutes of his NBA career. He impressed many during Tacko time, getting back up center minutes against the Washington Wizards.
With Robert Williams, Grant Williams, and Tristan Thompson all unable to play due to COVID-19 protocol, Tacko got the call and played 19 minutes against the lowly Wizards. Finishing with four points, eight rebounds, and three blocks, he showed the Boston Celtics coaching staff that he has improved dramatically since his time at UCF.
He finished with 4 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks, including a highlight-worthy stuff of former-MVP Russell Westbrook. Beyond Daniel Theis, Fall was the only available traditional big man on the roster, meaning he got extended playing time.
However, some thought he wouldn’t see the floor as much as he did, because the Cs had other potential small ball center options such as Semi Ojeleye and Javonte Green.
He ended up playing ample time, as coach Brad Stevens said after the game that he thought “he played great…”
Many fans noted that Tacko was running the floor much better than he had when he first got to Boston. Running in basketball is a skill that seems natural to most, but can be difficult for players such as Fall because of their extreme height.
He wouldn’t have been able to make plays like this a year ago simply because of his lack of mobility and conditioning.
Now, he has proven himself to be a viable center in the NBA, and can possibly become an unstoppable force on offense. Under the basket, standing at 7-5, nobody has a chance of stopping his shots.
On the defensive end, Stevens has liked to play a zone defense when he’s on the floor, stationing fall in the paint against any oncoming drivers. In a typical man-to-man defense, Tacko will always get involved in pick-and-roll action, and it will be hard for him to recover off of a quicker guard’s moves to the rim.
In this defensive scheme, he can continue to affect shots with his massive wingspan while not being abused on the perimeter. Coach Stevens has learned to play him to his strengths, even though he has garnered so little playing time in a Boston Celtics uniform so far.
Now begs the question — how can he get more playing time? Certainly, he will have a chance with injuries or COVID-19 absences. But beyond that, Boston has a long list of big men that they like and want to play a decent amount.
Daniel Theis already established himself as a capable big man last regular season and in the bubble.
Tristan Thompson is the main new addition to this Celtics team, hoping to provide a veteran presence and a stable defender in the paint.
Robert Williams has shown massive improvement in year three, garnering an increased role in the rotation.
Grant Williams is a switching center who is very useful come playoff time.
So, should Tacko get more minutes, even though he’s still on a two-way contract?
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.