Tacko Fall needs no introduction. Everyone knows about the 7’6” gentle giant who can pretty much dunk without even jumping. Many recognize Fall as the guy who helped UCF almost eliminate the stacked Duke Blue Devils in the NCAA Tournament last season. He wasn’t drafted this year, but the Boston Celtics signed the undrafted free agent quickly after.
Tacko was definitely the most interesting player I got to watch during this trip. First off, everyone loves him. During the Celtics games, fans will start chanting, “we want Tacko” if he’s on the bench for too long. When he jogs to the scorers table to check in, the crowd goes crazy and immediately start cheering. However, Fall is much more than just a fan favorite player. This guy has some serious game that he can bring to the table.
His abnormal height is obviously what makes him so special. With his gigantic wingspan, Fall can easily put in floaters over defenders in the paint. However, this is also what hurts him as a player. Since he is so massive, Fall tends to rely on his size to collect rebounds and lacks important mechanics such as boxing out defenders. Opponents smaller than him sometimes beat him to get boards by boxing him out down low, which for Fall should be inexcusable. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t get every ball that comes off the rim. These mechanics can surely be developed in the NBA, and once he implements them more into his game, others won’t stand a chance at grabbing the basketball.
Image via USA TODAY
Another weakness to his game is his ability to recover on the defensive end. If Fall has a failed block attempt, he is slow to get back in position and gives his opponent too much time to get a shot off. Luckily for him, his stature sometimes makes up for these mistakes, in which he can still impact a player trying to score in the paint by simply reaching his arm out.
His body frame is also extremely valuable because of his ability to alter opponents shots. Just by watching him in person, it’s amazing to see how he alters offensive players’ shots who try driving in the paint. So many players are forced to change their shot or fade away so far back to even get a shot over him in which it’s then considered a bad shot attempt due to how inaccurate and inconsistent it becomes. What’s even more incredible is how many offensive players Fall deters to drive into the paint just by stepping foot on the court. A substantial amount of guards and forwards would rather settle for a low-percentage jump shot rather than trying to get to the rim wholly because of Fall’s presence.
Fall doesn’t just alter shots, but rather alters the whole game.