Celtics

Should Boston Turn to Tacko for Big-Man Depth?

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In a year full of uncertainty, not many teams in the NBA have faced more adversity than the Boston Celtics.

With injuries, illness and trades galore, the C’s have had an underwhelming season so far. Many believed Boston would be toward the top of the Eastern Conference. A recent surge sees them slowly climbing back to where they want to be, but have otherwise hovered around .500 all season long.

Underwhelming performances from Boston’s supporting cast has played a role into this season’s mediocrity. The trio of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker are responsible for about 60 percent of the team’s scoring.

A noticeable weakness for the C’s has been in the frontcourt. Despite the rising play of Robert Williams III, the rest of the committee down low has fell short. Tristan Thompson plays his rebounding role well, leading the team with 8.2 boards a game. Besides those two, there is not much productivity down low.

Daniel Theis was shipped prior to the trade deadline in a deal that landed Boston Luke Kornet and Mo Wagner– neither one have made a glaring impact. 22-year-old Grant Williams has improved slightly from last season, but is not enough to be a difference-maker yet.

With Boston not finding another viable option for its frontcourt, Tacko Fall remains an option. The fan favorite has flashed potential despite playing spot minutes. His size and skill should be enough reason to allot him more time.

USING TACKO’S SIZE

With the tallest player in the league at Brad Stevens’ disposal, Boston should find a way to utilize his height. At 7’6, Tacko Fall would be difficult to guard on offense while altering every shot he’d face as a defender. The inclusion of the former UCF center into the rotation could be a positive boost for the team. Similarly, he can provide respite for the rather thin depth Boston has down low.

Even though Theis’ departure did not seem like a big deal, he left a gap that needs to be filled. It is crucial Boston finds a post presence to compete against the more dominant big men in the Eastern Conference. Although Tacko is not the most skilled, his size would cause enough issues for the opponent.

TACKO’S EFFICIENCY

Despite him not being a regular member of Stevens’ rotation, Tacko quickly fills the stat sheet when given the opportunity. Fall is averaging 2.7 points and 2.6 rebounds over just 6.5 minutes a game.

These numbers may not seem eye-popping, but he is only trailing Grant Williams by two points and 0.4 rebounds per game. Williams averages 18.4 minutes per contest, almost triple the amount Tacko plays. In his most recent appearance, Tacko had a quick three points and three rebounds in only five minutes of action.

If he were to receive more minutes, he could help Boston in games against bigger centers. He has only played double-digit minutes once this year, logging 19 minutes in a 116-107 win against Washington on January 8th. In the contest, he scored four points on 2-3 shooting while grabbing seven rebounds. He has the second-most rebounds on the team that game, only trailing Jaylen’s 13.

With Boston trying to find a complimentary piece down low to Timelord, Tacko Fall should be given a chance to fill the role. Especially if the C’s run into injuries or foul trouble, Tacko can come in and be a big body. His ability to use his size for rebounding and defense should be factored in. Giving Tacko an opportunity to make an impact could improve Boston as a whole in their quest to make a deep playoff run.

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