Tacko Fall was called upon to step up for the shorthanded Boston Celtics on Friday night, and the big man answered the bell.
Fall quickly made his presence felt in the first quarter of the C's-Wizards matchup with a huge block on Russell Westbrook. From there, the 7-foot-5 phenom settled in for a productive 19 minutes off the bench. He'd finish with four points, eight rebounds and three blocks in Boston's 116-107 victory.
No one was happier to see Fall succeed than Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.
"I thought he was great tonight. I thought he in a lot of ways changed the game there when he came in in the first quarter it was back and forth," Stevens said after the game. "One of the things we were missing without those guys here is some physicality and some rim protection. He provided both of those things in a big way, so I thought he was terrific."
"We just singled him out in the locker room. I couldn't be happier for the guy. He goes from undrafted to two-way to still on a two-way but like last year in the bubble, didn't dress half the time ... All he does is smile. He's a great teammate, as good as I've been around, and he works. He is just a -- he's a good one, for sure. And I'm really happy for him."
There could be a lot more Tacko Time where that came from. Tristan Thompson, Robert Williams, and Grant Williams will miss at least one week due to health and safety protocols, which means Fall likely will be asked to provide more quality minutes for Boston's second unit.
Next up for the Celtics is a Sunday night matchup vs. the Miami Heat. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET, but be sure to tune in to "Celtics Pregame Live" at 6 p.m. for a preview of the matchup.