At 7’6″ and 289 pounds, Tacko Fall’s larger than life presence alone suggests he’s ready for prime time. With the 2019-20 campaign on the horizon, the Boston Celtics took their own step in helping him inch even closer.
By converting his contract into a Two-Way pact, Fall can be allocated to the Celtics for up to 45 days this season, all but ensuring he’ll indeed hit the NBA hardwood at some point. This new opportunity will also allow him to see valuable court time, all while gaining experience and exposure that he wouldn’t necessarily acquire by watching from the sidelines for an entire season.
When Boston calls his number, it’ll be at a time where they could use his help on the court. By donning a Maine Red Claws uniform in the meantime, Fall will polish his game and be all the more prepared to make contributions when the time is right.
He has so far played sparingly in the NBA preseason, averaging 3 points in just 6.9 minutes through three contests. But even in that short amount of time, the towering big man has amassed a 2-block game, a 2-steal game, and demonstrated some steady post moves down low. As a senior at UCF last season, Fall averaged 11.1 points on 74.8% shooting from the field, to go with 7.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. His size and stature certainly allow him to gain an obvious advantage against opposing defenders, and it’s safe to say that this same aforementioned advantage has taken his early NBA opponents by surprise off the bat. But any forthcoming dominance won’t stem from appearance alone. As the surprise factor fades, skills and solid instincts will need to be in its place.
— NBA (@NBA) October 7, 2019
To intensify matters, Fall has gained plenty of fanfare along the way and all eyes are on him. Perhaps he’s experienced enough to know that comes with the territory, as it’s not something he minds.
“Pressure, I feel like I’m in a dream. I’m in the Garden, playing for the Celtics with all these great players, Fall said” (per Boston.com). “There’s no pressure. I’m just going out there and having fun.”
As far as head coach Brad Stevens is concerned, the merit surrounding Fall is in his sincere potential.
“I just hope people continue to appreciate him for what he is as a person and how hard he’s working to try and make the NBA,” Stevens said. “He’s a really good kid, and he’s really, really working hard. I think he’s going to be in the NBA for a long time.”
Now, it’s about what comes next. Fall’s arrival to Maine will surely garner excitement and lead fans to fill up arena seats on a nightly basis. Instead of simply being thrown into the NBA fire, this young gun will join the Red Claws and secure an opportunity to hone his craft. He’ll have time to react to the increased speed of the game and adjust to the imposing competition that will meet him at the professional level. The more accustomed fellow big men become to him, the more prepared the 23-year old will need to be. He’s already proven capable of scoring down low. Can he demonstrate good footwork to step out, run, and spread the floor? Will he develop good passing instincts to get others involved as he garners attention?
That remains to be seen, but any forthcoming NBA future starts with this first step in Maine.