Celtics Spotlight: How will Tacko Fall benefit from extended time on the Red Claws?

Celtics Spotlight: How will Tacko Fall benefit from extended time on the Red Claws?

Even Boston Celtics players admit they’ve caught Tacko Fever.

“I can’t lie, I like to see Tacko [Fall],” said Celtics swingman Jaylen Brown. “It’s hard not to [root for him]. I think he can really play. … I think Tacko is a pro and I think he works hard. I enjoy watching him play because he’s a great guy, fun to be around, great personality, super smart and intelligent, and articulates very well. Tacko is my guy.”

Brown had been gushing about Boston’s entire rookie class but saved some of his biggest praise for Fall, the 7-foot-7 behemoth who recently earned a 2-way contract with the Celtics after becoming one of the NBA’s biggest stories with his play at summer league.

Fall will get to spend 45 days with the Celtics and the rest of his time with the Maine Red Claws of the G-League, where a mountain of game reps await a mountain of a man.

Spotlights: Walker | Smart | Brown | Hayward | Kanter | Tatum

Brown seems certain Fall will be a full-time NBA player sooner than later. Fall’s teammates have seen how hard he works in training camp, how much progress he’s made in just four months since somehow going undrafted.

It’s why players like Brown have fully embraced TackoMania and are as excited to see Fall get into the fourth quarter of a preseason game as the fans who spent the first 3 ½ quarters chanting for him.

It’s a successful season for Fall if… 

… he uses his G-League time to advance his game. He’ll be the developmental league’s glitziest attraction but will still have the opportunity to expand his skills outside the harsh NBA spotlight. Fall can make mistakes and grow without being overly scrutinized. The Celtics can pull him up for roughly a quarter of the NBA season and either utilize him as emergency big-man depth or simply allow him to get a taste of the pro experience. It’s a successful season if fans are still chanting for a tiny glimpse of Tacko in lopsided NBA games in April.

It’s a disappointing season for Fall if… 

… his progress flat lines. It seems almost impossible that will happen considering his work ethic, but there’s still so much Fall must learn and develop to emerge as a legitimate NBA rotation player. The potential is tantalizing but Fall must continue to grind to get to the point where he can hang with NBA-caliber bigs on a nightly basis.

2019-2020 Outlook

By simply forcing Boston to make roster moves to keep him around, this season is already a victory for Fall. He’s going to be the biggest celebrity the G-League has seen and make the now-Celtics-owned Red Claws the hottest minor league ticket around. That notoriety is good for Fall but his teammates have stressed to him to stay focused on basketball. If he continues to blossom, Fall will position himself for a lengthy NBA career. For everyone in New England with Tacko Fever, it’s a victory that we get to monitor that progress for at least six more months.

Tacko Time? C's to sit many key rotation players vs. Cavs

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Bryce Brown hits franchise 3's record in Red Claws loss

USA TODAY Sports Images

Bryce Brown hits franchise 3's record in Red Claws loss

The Maine Red Claws were in action at home at the Portland Expo Center on Saturday night hosting the Delaware Blue Coats, taking a 128-123 loss to fall to 7-4 and fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

Tacko Fall wasn’t in action, but Bryce Brown was simply furious, leading all scorers with 43 points 15 of 17 from the floor overall and a franchise single-game record 11 of 11 three-pointers. Tremont Waters was terrific, too, with 18 points and 11 assists.



Brown, an undrafted free agent who helped lead Auburn to its first Final Four appearance last spring, was simply unconscious for the Claws. He shot a perfect 11 of 11 from three-point range to give him an absurd effective field goal percentage of 1.2 for the game.


Waters, the Connecticut native, was crafty in his distribution, with just four turnovers to go with his 11 assists.

Yante Maten (18 points), Vincent Poirier (18) and Justin Bibbs (10) also scored in double-figures for the Red Claws.


The Red Claws return to action Friday in Des Moines, Iowa to face the Iowa Wolves, with tipoff at 8 p.m. ET.

Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Cavaliers, which tips off Monday at 6:30 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 7:30 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.

Happy birthday, Larry Bird!

Happy birthday, Larry Bird!

Anytime is a good time to watch highlights of the greatness that was Larry Bird playing for the Celtics.

But on Larry Legend's 63rd birthday? It's time to break out the best of No. 33...

The fight with Dr. J in 1984:

The 60-point game against the Hawks in '85:

The steal against Isiah Thomas and the Pistons in '87:

The "you are watching was greatness is all about" duel with Dominique Wilkins in '88:


Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Cavaliers, which tips off Monday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Tommy & Mike have the call at 7:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.