Celtics Sign Tacko Fall

nighthob

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Tacko is 7'6, and he'll still be 7'6 when he gets his shot in real NBA action. No one is expecting him to be 1975 Kareem. However, he can be a nice change of pace to throw at NBA bigs, including - clutch your pearls - Embiid or Giannis.
At 7'7" with a 10'3" standing reach he will win 100% of all jumpballs. So if nothing else he has a future as a literal NBA starter. Even if he doesn't play much after that.
 

lexrageorge

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At 7'7" with a 10'3" standing reach he will win 100% of all jumpballs. So if nothing else he has a future as a literal NBA starter. Even if he doesn't play much after that.
IIRC, there was a game once that featured a jump ball between Manute Bol and either Spud Webb or Muggsy Bogues. I think the little guy's team may have got possession, too.
 

InstaFace

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You're right---I looked at the wrong listing. I do think that's material, and part of what is interesting about him as a project...he's not just tall he's a whole different ballgame than even the current really tall guys. Doesn't make him a player, but it's a unique capability to explore.

Side note: Manute Bol's wingspan was reported to be almost 4 inches longer than Tacko's!
Shawn Bradley had an NBA-level career at 7'6" despite being <300 lbs, far more recently than Manute Bol. He just started with a lot more experience than Fall at every level - 4 years of high school, heavily recruited by top programs, led the nation in blocking, was his team's best player in getting to the 2nd round of NCAAs, etc. Fall came to the sport late and reluctantly, may not love it the same way (yet, or ever). And once in the NBA, Bradley's college scoring never translated consistently, but the blocking did.

I'm no scout, so I'd be interested in people's assessments of the skillsets of Muresan (1993-2000) and Bradley (1993-2005), and what we can learn by comparing those to Fall today, as I think they probably have more relevance to today's NBA than Bol (1983-1995). The success rate for 7'2"+ projects is actually not that bad, because there just aren't that many such people, and they're really good at occupying space, which of course is the last skill to deteriorate.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I'm no scout, so I'd be interested in people's assessments of the skillsets of Muresan (1993-2000) and Bradley (1993-2005), and what we can learn by comparing those to Fall today, as I think they probably have more relevance to today's NBA than Bol (1983-1995). The success rate for 7'2"+ projects is actually not that bad, because there just aren't that many such people, and they're really good at occupying space, which of course is the last skill to deteriorate.
Neither Bradley nor Muresan are comparable to Fall for different reasons.

Bradley was really skilled. I mean really really skilled. He could dribble, shoot, and pass. He was almost the #1 pick overall. (See this: https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/fl-xpm-1993-05-22-9302130244-story.html). Bradley's problem was that he was like Ralph Sampson, only thinner. In college, I think he was 210. He was something like 250 in the pros and people kept pushing him around.

Muresan, on the other hand, was huge. He was something like 315, 330. He was the one guy I saw who could bother Shaq simply because he was so big. But he's not like Tacko because he developed basketball skills - jump shot and sky hook. He once averaged 14.5 ppg and 9.6 rbg averaging almost 30 minutes a game. He also shot .709 from the FT line one year. Unfortunately, his career was cut short by injuries.

(edit: here's a 1995 story on Ghorge that's an interesting read: https://www.si.com/vault/1995/10/02/206892/giant-the-bullets-gheorghe-muresan-is-developing-a-game-to-match-his-colossal-size)

Tacko is a great story and I am rooting for him but he's got to develop some kind of jump shot in order to be playable in the NBA. He's not going to be able to take everyone down to the rim and dunk the ball. He should go play every day and practice a lot in Maine and see where he is in two or three years.
 
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Big John

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Tacko is a great story and I am rooting for him but he's got to develop some kind of jump shot in order to be playable in the NBA. He's not going to be able to take everyone down to the rim and dunk the ball. He should go play every day and practice a lot in Maine and see where he is in two or three years.
Yes, at the moment Tacko is a curiosity, not an NBA player. You might use him situationally for few few minutes a game, but he's too ungainly. He's also useless at the end of games because he can't shoot free throws.
There are at least two unsigned guys on the Summer league team (Onuaku and Green) and a half dozen or so available free agents I would take over Tacko for a spot on the Celtics roster. Now if Tacko wants to go to Maine (or Europe) and work on his game, he might be worth a roster spot at some point.
 

sezwho

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Neither Bradley nor Muresan are comparable to Fall for different reasons.

Bradley was really skilled. I mean really really skilled. He could dribble, shoot, and pass. He was almost the #1 pick overall. (See this: https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/fl-xpm-1993-05-22-9302130244-story.html). Bradley's problem was that he was like Ralph Sampson, only thinner. In college, I think he was 210. He was something like 250 in the pros and people kept pushing him around.

Muresan, on the other hand, was huge. He was something like 315, 330. He was the one guy I saw who could bother Shaq simply because he was so big. But he's not like Tacko because he developed basketball skills - jump shot and sky hook. He once averaged 14.5 ppg and 9.6 rbg averaging almost 30 minutes a game. He also shot .709 from the FT line one year. Unfortunately, his career was cut short by injuries.
Appreciate the deeper look into giants past.

The unwritten rule of the 7'3"+ players often seems to boil down to...can you stay healthy? Tacko moves like a much more normal sized person, with no hitch or weird gate, which is fueling my optimism for him getting closer to a ceiling.

As for Tacko's future in Portland, I normally feel like its where big's careers go to die (couldn't find a link to verify or dispel this bias, so happy to be educated) just because they can survive on pure athleticism. However, in his case I think a year (dare I hope for the shuttle?) in Portland could genuinely help if he can still get the developmental and conditioning focus of the big team.
 

GoDa

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Neither Bradley nor Muresan are comparable to Fall for different reasons.

Bradley was really skilled. I mean really really skilled. He could dribble, shoot, and pass. He was almost the #1 pick overall. (See this: https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/fl-xpm-1993-05-22-9302130244-story.html). Bradley's problem was that he was like Ralph Sampson, only thinner. In college, I think he was 210. He was something like 250 in the pros and people kept pushing him around.

Muresan, on the other hand, was huge. He was something like 315, 330. He was the one guy I saw who could bother Shaq simply because he was so big. But he's not like Tacko because he developed basketball skills - jump shot and sky hook. He once averaged 14.5 ppg and 9.6 rbg averaging almost 30 minutes a game. He also shot .709 from the FT line one year. Unfortunately, his career was cut short by injuries.

(edit: here's a 1995 story on Ghorge that's an interesting read: https://www.si.com/vault/1995/10/02/206892/giant-the-bullets-gheorghe-muresan-is-developing-a-game-to-match-his-colossal-size)

Tacko is a great story and I am rooting for him but he's got to develop some kind of jump shot in order to be playable in the NBA. He's not going to be able to take everyone down to the rim and dunk the ball. He should go play every day and practice a lot in Maine and see where he is in two or three years.
Playable?

What will determine if he's playable are his abilities on the defensive end. He isn't quick to the ball - so he's likely a pretty meh rebounder... but if his shot-blocking/altering abilities translate... he's got a spot. All he needs to do on offense is set screens... not turn the ball over... and be available around the rim as a constant auto-dunk option. If he throws in a 3-foot hook every now and then... all the better.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Playable?

What will determine if he's playable are his abilities on the defensive end. He isn't quick to the ball - so he's likely a pretty meh rebounder... but if his shot-blocking/altering abilities translate... he's got a spot. All he needs to do on offense is set screens... not turn the ball over... and be available around the rim as a constant auto-dunk option. If he throws in a 3-foot hook every now and then... all the better.
He has to show that he can defend the high PnR against real NBA players. Brad was talking him up last night on the ESPN broadcast however - and I know there are some here who think SL is pretty representative of NBA competition while others of us do not - its been a few games against mostly amateur players.

And he also needs to improve his FT%. Otherwise, the guy is going to be hacked mercilessly whenever he receives the ball near the basket or gets an offensive rebound.
 

benhogan

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Tacko is a great story and I am rooting for him but he's got to develop some kind of jump shot in order to be playable in the NBA. He's not going to be able to take everyone down to the rim and dunk the ball. He should go play every day and practice a lot in Maine and see where he is in two or three years.
Why on earth would you have him work on jump shots? 100% of his shooting work should be done at the FT line*.

If NBA jump shot is Tacko's bar for PT in the NBA, you may as well cut him now. The odds of him developing an NBA efficient 2pt mid-range jump shot are slim to none (Heck, half the NBA is inefficiently shooting mid-range 2pt jump shots).

Tacko's offensive check-list:
1. Set physical screens and picks for the most efficient Celtic offensive players.
2. Roll straight to the rim if the opponent switches a wing/guard on him.
3. Get loose rebounds, tip the ball out, keep the ball alive on missed shots
4. Get back on defense.
5. Never shoot the ball outside the 3ft circle unless the clock dictates (Ben Simmons-esque)
6. Work on a half dozen alley-oop plays designed for Tacko

HACKO will become a thing if he can't hit over 55% of his FTs.

*The Celtics have him working on new FT stroke. Its extremely mechanical, but could lead to many lane violations for the opponent;)
 
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Big John

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His free throws look like he's throwing a shot put. Terrible.

Free throw shooting is in the knees. Look at any 90% free throw shooter, and you will see the knees gently flex.


I could post a dozen other videos of great free throw shooters and it would be the same.
 

benhogan

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His free throws look like he's throwing a shot put. Terrible.

Free throw shooting is in the knees. Look at any 90% free throw shooter, and you will see the knees gently flex.


I could post a dozen other videos of great free throw shooters and it would be the same.
I've seen Larry Bird. Tacko Fall is no Larry Bird
 

RetractableRoof

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It can't help that the man is seemingly shooting his free throws down at the basket instead of up at it. I suspect there must be some technique differences between him and the center at Foxboro high school.

Did I do that right?
 

InstaFace

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It can't help that the man is seemingly shooting his free throws down at the basket instead of up at it. I suspect there must be some technique differences between him and the center at Foxboro high school.

Did I do that right?
Sure, but you'd have gotten extra credit for suggesting he just lean over and gently place the FT shot into the basket.
 

Scriblerus

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Is his reach ling enough that he could do an underhand free throw with consistency? Not the old between the knees, two-handed variation, but an extended one-handed flip up to the basket
 

Big John

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Maybe Tacko could take off from the fee throw line and dunk the ball without touching the floor. Standing high jump.
 

Devizier

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I believe the standing high jump was banned on account of Wilt. But that is probably an urban legend.

Related to his free throw shooting, would Fall benefit from trying to bank his shots? I know, verboten, but he might be able to put some arc on his shot that way without it coming down from way above the basket.
 

Jimbodandy

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I believe the standing high jump was banned on account of Wilt. But that is probably an urban legend.

Related to his free throw shooting, would Fall benefit from trying to bank his shots? I know, verboten, but he might be able to put some arc on his shot that way without it coming down from way above the basket.
Was thinking the same thing last night. Improve angle too.

People that bad should be willing to try anything.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Why on earth would you have him work on jump shots? 100% of his shooting work should be done at the FT line*.

If NBA jump shot is Tacko's bar for PT in the NBA, you may as well cut him now. The odds of him developing an NBA efficient 2pt mid-range jump shot are slim to none (Heck, half the NBA is inefficiently shooting mid-range 2pt jump shots).

Tacko's offensive check-list:
1. Set physical screens and picks for the most efficient Celtic offensive players.
2. Roll straight to the rim if the opponent switches a wing/guard on him.
3. Get loose rebounds, tip the ball out, keep the ball alive on missed shots
4. Get back on defense.
5. Never shoot the ball outside the 3ft circle unless the clock dictates (Ben Simmons-esque)
6. Work on a half dozen alley-oop plays designed for Tacko

HACKO will become a thing if he can't hit over 55% of his FTs.

*The Celtics have him working on new FT stroke. Its extremely mechanical, but could lead to many lane violations for the opponent;)
Okay, maybe I shouldn't have said "jump" but he does need some sort of shot that can translate to FTs.

I'm not sure what you describe above is a NBA player except maybe for 3 minutes a game.

Chris Dudley is an interesting comp. Tacko is less playable than Chris Dudley right now IMO.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I believe the standing high jump was banned on account of Wilt. But that is probably an urban legend.

Related to his free throw shooting, would Fall benefit from trying to bank his shots? I know, verboten, but he might be able to put some arc on his shot that way without it coming down from way above the basket.
He did bank one in in one of the games.
 

Captaincoop

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Okay, maybe I shouldn't have said "jump" but he does need some sort of shot that can translate to FTs.

I'm not sure what you describe above is a NBA player except maybe for 3 minutes a game.

Chris Dudley is an interesting comp. Tacko is less playable than Chris Dudley right now IMO.
Chris Dudley is 7 inches shorter than this guy. That's the difference between Carsen Edwards and Jason Tatum.
 

benhogan

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Okay, maybe I shouldn't have said "jump" but he does need some sort of shot that can translate to FTs.

I'm not sure what you describe above is a NBA player except maybe for 3 minutes a game.

Chris Dudley is an interesting comp. Tacko is less playable than Chris Dudley right now IMO.
IMO it's pretty much FTs that he needs to work on, maybe a hook shot from 5 ft., otherwise, he can pass and set screens. One ball, 4 other guys on the floor looking to score from the outside. The good thing is the defending Center will need to stay w/him on the block. On a dribble drive, Tacko would be so easy to lob into if left unguarded or switched on to by a wing/guard. Ironically his size will help spread the floor better than 5 wide.

Agreed, he's not quite ready for the NBA at the moment, but if he starts hitting FTs at Maine for half a season, he can play those 3 NBA minutes here/there (especially if Brad is being honest on Tacko's PnR defense). "2 or 3 years at Maine" is a death sentence, I'm obviously a lot more optimistic. No one around here saw Yabu getting waived today, it does feel like the Celtics may want to keep Tacko around (as a project in the very least).

I'm not sure I see the Chris Dudley (46% FT) comp, intelligent BIG that can't shoot FTs I guess? I wouldn't write off Tacko's FT shooting just yet, there is a lot more technology/video to help work on it (or he can go the DJ route and hold conversations at the FT line).

Chris Dudley, 6'11" 235lbs, did spend 16yrs in the NBA, which confirms that occupying space is the last skill to deteriorate. :)
 
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the moops

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Rick Barry is still alive. C's should hire him. I bet he could walk into the gym and hit 70 of 100 underhanded right now.
And it's not as Rick Barry is the only one who could teach dudes this technique. Hell, give me a week or two and I bet I could make over 70% of my FTs granny style with nothing more than practice.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Tacko doesn't need to be a 65% FT shooter to play rotation minutes in this league......Tacko DOES need to execute a high PNR defensive scheme while being able to contest a 3-point shot to play rotation minutes in this league. I only caught a few of his minutes in the summer league and he failed to close out on a 3-point shooter on two occasions during the brief time I watched. One thing I did notice was that he provides a different kind of spacing offensively as a weakside defender must account for his presence rather than step into a penetration lane.

He's a unique player and I'm confident he will find a role once he recognizes his deficiencies in our schemes.
 

joe dokes

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And it's not as Rick Barry is the only one who could teach dudes this technique. Hell, give me a week or two and I bet I could make over 70% of my FTs granny style with nothing more than practice.
Not only is Barry one of the best FT shooters in NBA history, he was also able to teach George Johnson to shoot. But it took awhile, IIRC.

(So unless you now shoot 60% I'm skeptical of the second point.)
 

the moops

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Not only is Barry one of the best FT shooters in NBA history, he was also able to teach George Johnson to shoot. But it took awhile, IIRC.

(So unless you now shoot 60% I'm skeptical of the second point.)
I am a good FT shooter, so you may have a point. But I have ever only taken an underhand attempt at FT's like a few dozen times in my life
 

The Gray Eagle

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Fall's teammate on the Celtics summer league team, Chinanu Onuaku, shoots FTs underhanded. He's only a 68% FT shooter in the G League but I'd bet he'd be far worse shooting overhanded. He was at 47% his freshman year of college shooting "the normal way."

 

bakahump

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Tacko doesn't need to be a 65% FT shooter to play rotation minutes in this league......Tacko DOES need to execute a high PNR defensive scheme while being able to contest a 3-point shot to play rotation minutes in this league. I only caught a few of his minutes in the summer league and he failed to close out on a 3-point shooter on two occasions during the brief time I watched. One thing I did notice was that he provides a different kind of spacing offensively as a weakside defender must account for his presence rather than step into a penetration lane.

He's a unique player and I'm confident he will find a role once he recognizes his deficiencies in our schemes.
Not to be snarky (i am honestly asking) but do you see a difference between "Didnt close out" and "Cant Close out"?

I think a big thing we are missing is his athleticism at 7'7. Sure he is no MJ but as a 7 footer plus he seems to be top 20% maybe even 10% athletically. (based on watching him run jump move laterally etc etc).

I totally defer to and agree with you that he needs to get better at P+R and 3pt close outs.....but isnt that coaching (and hopefully him absorbing that info)? And again being 7'7 he can afford to even be a step slower then most on those skills.

If he decides to/knows he should do you believe he can do those things?
 

DJnVa

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Aside: Why is the Rick Barry style underhand free throw so much easier to make, in theory? And if so, why has no one else ever tried? Simply because it looks silly?

The upshot is, if you can get the release point right, the underhanded shot drops down at a better angle. The issue, from what I gather, is that people new to it can struggle getting this and when they miss they miss badly. There's less chance of an embarrassing miss shooting overhand, however the angle isn't as good overall.
 

Koufax

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Wilt Chamberlain shot underhand. In this video, Tommy says he'd teach big guy to shoot FTs just the way Tacko is doing it.


This video even goes into the rule change that prevented Wilt from dunking on FTs.
 

RetractableRoof

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Aside: Why is the Rick Barry style underhand free throw so much easier to make, in theory? And if so, why has no one else ever tried? Simply because it looks silly?
Body mechanics/kinesiology mostly. A standard free throw involves more moving body parts and room for things to get out of whack. Knees don't bend as much? Arms don't bend the same as last time? Finger spacing different? More or less thrust from the wrists? All moving parts. The underhand style can minimize the moving parts into a fluid more repeatable motion.