Celtics

Former NBA head coach sees Tacko Fall having role in modern NBA

Former NBA head coach sees Tacko Fall having role in modern NBA

The modern NBA is all about shooting, and no position has been immune to these changes. 

The center position, in particular, has undergone massive changes. Gone are the days of a center primarily being a back-to-the-basket, low-post scorer. Centers, with a few exceptions, typically need to be able to shoot from 3-point range to have a place on the court during the most important minutes of a game. 

Tacko Fall, however, could be an exception. 

The 7-foot-6 center signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Boston Celtics in June and impressed during the team's five-game Las Vegas NBA Summer League run. He averaged 7.2 points and 4.0 rebounds per game in the tournament and impacted many shots defensively with his shot-blocking presence. This is one area where former NBA head coach Stan Van Gundy sees Fall being able to carve out a role for himself in today's NBA. Here's what SVG had to say about Fall during a recent radio interview with Orlando station 96.9 The Game.

Fall is no lock to make the Celtics' regular season roster, but the team would be smart to at least bring him to training camp and see how he fits in with the whole group. 

The Celtics have been busy re-tooling their frontcourt in free agency with the additions of Enes Kanter and Vincent Poirier. The team also drafted Grant Williams out of Tennessee in the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft, and he could see minutes at center in small-ball lineups. Robert Williams, who was Boston's 2018 first-round pick, also figures to be a key part of the center rotation.

Fall isn't a threat to shoot from the outside, but his shot blocking, rebounding and ability to alter opponents' shots around the rim are valuable skills the Celtics certainly could use on their roster. He definitely deserves a chance to prove himself, whether it's in Boston or somewhere else.

Five takeaways from Celtics' Summer League performance>>>

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Nicolas Batum on Celtics center Vincent Poirier: "It's a good pick-up for Boston for sure"

Nicolas Batum on Celtics center Vincent Poirier: "It's a good pick-up for Boston for sure"

Team USA didn't finish the FIBA World Cup as expected, but there were plenty of positives to take away from the tournament if you're a Celtics fan. 

Not only did Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart contribute to Team USA and certainly took some lessons from playing under Gregg Popovich, but Daniel Theis (Germany) and newly signed Vincent Poirier (France) got invaluable experience they can carry into the 2019-20 NBA season. 

Poirier signed with the Celtics during free agency on a two-year contract and should have plenty of opportunities to earn playing time in a Celtics' frontcourt that hopes to replace Al Horford and Aron Baynes. 

Poirier's French teammate Nicolas Batum, who played with Walker in Charlotte over the last four years, dealt out some praise of the rookie center after France beat Australia for the FIBA bronze medal. 

"This guy, I think, just started basketball 5 years ago, so he's had a special career," Batum told John Schumann. "His energy was great. We can't count on Rudy (Gobert) every game... He was huge. He wasn't scared by Bogut & Baynes... He was amazing tonight."

France knocked the U.S. out of the knockout round by besting them in the quarterfinals. Poirier didn't play in that game, but has played a big role for France behind All-Star big man Rudy Gobert. 

"It's clear that he's a center that can block shots and control the paint," Batum said. "He's a terrific roller, can really catch a lob, and obviously has a lot of energy. It's a good pick-up for Boston, for sure."

The Celtics responded to Horford's departure and trading Baynes to Phoneix by signing Poirier and Enes Kanter to join Theis and Robert Williams at the center spot. Boston will probably have to solve their hole at that position by committee, but if Poirier can play consistent defense, rebound and protect the paint as Batum describes, he could earn himself backup minutes behind Kanter. 

Either way, it should be an interesting training camp to say the least for this new-look Celtics team. 

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One lesson each Celtics player can take away from World Cup

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One lesson each Celtics player can take away from World Cup

Team Shamrock’s FIBA adventures ended with a whimper Saturday as — under the cloak of East Coast darkness — three of the four Celtics on Team USA logged DNPs (eight points for Jaylen Brown) while the Americans claimed seventh place with an 87-74 win over Poland. Combine that with the fact that Daniel Theis got limited reps with Germany’s early exit and Daniel Poirier hasn’t played big minutes while backing up Rudy Gobert for France and the World Cup experience wasn’t quite as robust as it could have been for the six Celtics players involved.

Still, there were positives to pluck and experiences gained by everyone involved, not the least of which is that a third of Boston’s roster will show up to camp on Oct. 1 in game-ready shape. Still, regardless of Team USA’s medal-less finish and the limited reps for Theis and Poirier, there’s at least one item or lesson that every player can bring with them into the new season.