Skip to main content

The transformation of Tacko Fall into a solid NBA center - where does he start?

No one ever knows what to make of the next NBA big man. As the seasons passed, the League welcomed George Mikan, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - and now Tacko Fall. Mikan was big and talented, but no one ever called him super-athletic. Red Auerbach saw the potential in Russ, and it paid off with 11 Championships for the Celtics. For a player close to 6'10", Big Bill could run, jump, rebound, block shots and defend like no center before him. He was athletic with a Capital A.

Wilt came into the NBA at 7'1" and 250 pounds. His "Wilt the Stilt" nickname fit his physique. He later went up to roughly 300 pounds, and he was super-strong and tough to defend physically. Even Russell needed some occasional help from his back-up, Wayne "The Wall" Embry. Grinding in the paint with Goliath could take a toll. Jabbar brought a new challenge for opposing centers. He was tall, slender and graceful. His sky hook was virtually unstoppable.

All four of these former centers became super stars, and they all brought something new to the table. So does Tacko Fall. The League has never seen anything quite like the Green Giant. At 7'7" and 290 pounds, with a 10"2" reach and 8'2" wingspan, he has already earned Embry's nickname, "The Wall".



Upon Russell's arrival on the NBA scene, fans were surprised how well he could move for a man of his length. His stride down the court was reminiscent of a gazelle. Fall's run down the court may not quite match Bill's, but he is 10-inches taller and 70-pounds heavier. As the above tweet indicates, he stands straight, runs the court as no one expected and appears to be improving right before our eyes.

Tacko may never reach the heights of Mikan, Russell, Chamberlain or Jabbar, but if he works hard enough, he will find a place in the NBA. His wide shoulders tell me he can get stronger and more muscular, much like Chamberlain. He will need that against the Andre Drummonds of the League. And that strength may help him avoid injury, always a major concern with the super-tall bigs.

The shorter shot-blockers in the NBA need to rely on timing their jumps. Not so important when you have a 10'2" reach. That reach will get Fall a lot of offensive boards and put-backs, but he may need to work on more-aggressive rebounding. This is the NBA after all.

How about 3-point shooting? Forget it - for now. He took no treys in four years of college play. Free throws? A very-poor 43% at UCF. But he can score in close, as his 74% on field goals indicates. His assists/game in college will not rank him with Chris Paul anytime soon (only 0.4 APG).

So there you have it. In a word, Tacko is RAW. But that also means he is a clean slate, and with dedication to the task and hard work, he may never be a super star, but he could have a long NBA career. You can't teach size, and he certainly has that with a good share of grace and fluidity to his movements. Hopefully his strength, distance shooting and passing skills will improve with time. Tacko has become such a fan favorite so quickly, it would be a shame for him not to make it in the NBA.

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel, @_Celtics_Center and Facebook





Comments

  1. If Tom has created the "Green Giant" nickname, we should give him credit for thinking up a good one--I rarely look at Twitter, so I'm not really sure whether or not it's been used by others before Tom.

    I've seen Tacko's weight listed as high as 311 lbs., but still, he needs to make sure he's not pushed out of the post--I've heard that Danny wants him to put on some more muscle. As should the younger Rob Williams.

    And let's put the 43% free throw shooting into perspective. The great defensive center Ben Wallace shot 41.4% for his 16-year NBA career, and only 30% in his rookie season, while Shaq shot 51.1% for his career. Considering that Tacko hasn't been playing the game that long, I suspect that he will be able to pass Shaq with normal growth and development, and he's already ahead of Ben.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Believe "Green Giant" is mine. Opened a can of Green Giant asparagus, and the thought hit me. Thanks for mentioning. I had commented in an article back a ways that Green Giant needed to hop on this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Though he seems very serious--4 years of college, a Computer Science degree, and 95th percentile in the SATs. So "Jolly" doesn't fit, but "Green" and "Giant" both certainly do.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Elm Street Nightmare

 A true-and-suspenseful horror tale of haunting, homicides and the hunt for triple-murderer, Daniel Laplante - as told by the cops that were there By Lt. Thomas Lane (Ret.)  Daniel Laplante - cold, calm, clever, calculating- Photo: YouTube   Elm Street  surfaces on four occasions in the Laplante saga: 1.) He  resided on Elm Street  in Townsend, Massachusetts 2.) He  kidnapped a woman  at gunpoint on  Elm Street, Pepperell , Massachusetts 3.) He was arrested and transported to Massachusetts State Police Barracks on Elm Street in Concord . 3.) He was  tried, convicted   and sentenced for the murders at  Superior Court , corner of  Elm Stree t and Gorham Street, Lowell, Massachusetts. When evil and cleverness reside in the same mind, the stage is often set for true horror. Such was the case with triple-murderer, Daniel Laplante . As a 16-year old , he quickly transitioned from: Minor thefts and breaking into homes To: Taunting and threatening a father and his two daughters as an unseen

Nik Stauskas adds "shooting with size" voiced by Brad Stevens

 As a 6'6" shooting guard, 28-year-old Nik Stauskas adds that shooting with size sorely needed by the Boston Celtics. Drafted 8th-overall by the Sacramento Kings in 2014, Stauskas has bounced around to various teams since then. Nik Stauskas' deal with the Boston Celtics includes non-guaranteed salary for the second season in 2022-23, a source tells @celticsblog . — Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) March 4, 2022 Nik has never averaged more than 9.5 points per game in the NBA, but Boston is most likely counting on his production for Grand Rapids in the G League as the incentive to sign him. In 17 games thus far, he has averaged 24.7 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 4.8 APG - while shooting 50% on field goals and 45% on treys. Nik Stauskas is signing a two-year deal with the Boston Celtics, his agents Mark Bartelstein and Andy Shiffman of @PrioritySports tell ESPN. Stauskas had an historic week, scoring 100 points on 57 and 43 point performances in back-to-back games for Grand Rapids. — Adrian Wo

Rick Barry belittling Bill Russell on TV revealed the real fool

 It happened on national TV during the 1981 NBA Finals . Two of the announcers were Rick Barry and Bill Russell . When asked who was in a photo passed to Barry, Rick responded, "I don't know. Looks like some fool over there (referring to Russ) with the watermelon grin on. Russell repeatedly indicated the photo was of KC Jones , but Barry would have none of it. Worth watching. Russ vs. Rick Barry! The "fool with the watermelon grin" wasn't Bill. It was Barry. Don't believe it was racial, but the two didn't get along. Russ was clearly pissed. Rick Barry - Watermelon Grin https://t.co/NrUSkzrwZH via @YouTube — Tom Lane (@CelticsSentinel) September 24, 2021 Bill responded with, "That was K. C. That wasn't me. That was K. C." Then Barry tried to pass the photo to Bill, and Russ wanted none of that either. "No. I don't want them" is how Russell responded, clearly pissed, but still maintaining that aura of class and composure. Alth