Celtics

Tacko Fall has drawn more Rookie of the Year bets than Zion Williamson

Tacko Fall has drawn more Rookie of the Year bets than Zion Williamson

The Tacko Fall hype train hasn't just left the station. It's barreling down the track at maximum speed.

The Boston Celtics' 7-foot-7 rookie turned heads last month with some quality play in the NBA Summer League. And while he's still not a lock to make the Celtics' opening night roster, he apparently has drawn interest for NBA Rookie of the Year in betting circles.

Actually, "interest" is an understatement. According to Jeff Sherman of Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, Fall has garnered more bets and more overall money wagered than ... No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson.

We've reached peak Tacko Mania, folks.

Of course, this doesn't mean people think Fall has a better chance to win Rookie of the Year than Williamson. The New Orleans Pelicans forward is the prohibitive favorite while Fall is an extreme long shot, so it's better value to place a small wager on Fall on the (very) slim chance it cashes in.

Plus, let's be honest: It's more fun to bet on Tacko.

It's safe to say those bets will dwindle if Fall can't crack the Celtics' 15-man roster or gets sent to the G-League. But if the Senegalese sensation is on Boston's bench for Game 1, expect Vegas to take a whole lot more of America's money.

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Who should represent Celtics in NBA's H-O-R-S-E competition?

Who should represent Celtics in NBA's H-O-R-S-E competition?

The NBA is reportedly working on a televised H-O-R-S-E competition to keep us entertained while the season is suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Celtics have a rather obvious choice for an entrant into that competition: Marcus Smart.

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The sixth-year guard has made trick shots his trademark, ending each pregame warmup by launching a deep baseline 3-pointer over his head until he makes one (and it usually doesn’t take many attempts). It's far from the only trick in Smart's toolbox — just check out the video above of Smart showing Brian Scalabrine some of his favorite shots from earlier this season.

Heck, Smart might be a favorite to win the event if he entered. Still, rather than make the obvious choice, we huddled up to pick some other possible Celtics entrants.

BLAKELY’S PICK: JAYSON TATUM

Jayson Tatum isn’t just Boston’s best scorer. But he’s also one of the team’s most creative ones as well. We know about the step-back jumpers and drives to the basket, but the trickster in Tatum comes out every now and then. 

And one of the few times we’ve seen this was during a stop in play during February’s All-Star Game when Tatum drained this over-the-back, off-the-top of the backboard shot that was nothing but net.

It’s safe to say that Tatum has that shot and a few more in his back of basketball tricks. 

FORSBERG’S PICK: TACKO FALL

The 7-foot-5 Fall would make it seem like he’s playing on a mini hoop with his height advantage.

He could wear down opponents with an array of baby hook shots and flat-footed dunks that would be more challenging for his regular-sized competition. Plus, everything is undeniably more entertaining when Fall is involved.

And anyone that thinks they can just sneak out to the 3-point line to beat him should think again:

BLAKELY’S PICK: JAVONTE GREEN

Javonte Green is the most athletic player on the Celtics roster.

So when it comes to trick shots, you can count on Green providing some above-the-rim exploits that will surely wow fans and — maybe most important — be extremely difficult for anyone competing against him to replicate.

FORSBERG’S PICK: ENES KANTER

Finally, all those hours that Kanter spent on TikTok would pay dividends as he enters the competition with an encyclopedic knowledge of circus shots.

Sure, he’s in trouble if Steph Curry-types start bombing away with simple 25-footers but the scales tip in favor of Kanter if the competition turns into a series of shots that must bounce off three walls or be punted through the cylinder.

In the ultimate quest to become a social media legend, Kanter dominates the competition, posts each of his successful makes on available platforms, and rakes in the followers.

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Jayson Tatum, Bradley Beal team up for generous act amid coronavirus pandemic

Jayson Tatum, Bradley Beal team up for generous act amid coronavirus pandemic

Jayson Tatum is finding a way to make an impact with his day job on hold.

The Boston Celtics forward has partnered with Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal in pledging to donate a total of $500,000 to Boston- and St. Louis-area food banks.

Tatum made the announcement Monday on Instagram, revealing an initiative with Feeding America and Lineage Logistics called "Share a Meal."

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As this virus continues to spread, the future has never felt so unpredictable.  And while I sincerely pray that everyone is staying safe, healthy and social distancing, the reality is this virus has negatively impacted our families, loved ones and communities in so many ways.  Because of the hardships created through this national health crisis and in an effort to help those in need in the Boston and St. Louis area, I am, through The Jayson Tatum Foundation, partnering with @feedingamerica and @lineagelogistics on their “Share A Meal” campaign.  Together, @lineagelogistics and The Jayson Tatum Foundation are pledging to match $250,000 in the Boston area and, with my good friend and fellow basketball player Bradley Beal, $250,000 in the St. Louis area, to help provide meals through @feedingamerica, @stlfoodbank and @gr8bosfoodbank.  This campaign will help some of the hardest hit communities in Boston and in Brad and my hometown of St. Louis, receive meals.  If you are able to help, I am asking my family, friends,  fans and partners to follow the link in my bio to help make a difference in our communities during a very difficult time. I would especially like to thank all the frontline workers and volunteers who are working around the clock to keep all of us safe and healthy. Together…. we will make a difference. #NBATogether #ActsOfCaring

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Tatum and Beal, who both grew up in the St. Louis area, each pledged to match $250,000 in donations to the Greater Boston Food Bank and the St. Louis Area Food Bank as the coronavirus pandemic threatens food security in both cities.

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"This campaign will help some of the hardest hit communities in Boston and in Brad and my hometown of St. Louis, receive meals," Tatum wrote, asking those who are able to donate to either food bank.

Boston had 1,877 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday, more than several U.S. states. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh issued new measures Sunday encouraging all residents to wear a face covering while leaving their homes and instituting a recommended curfew of 9 p.m.

Tatum and Beal's donations are generous gestures as both cities attempt to deal with a virus that already has disrupted many lives.

Tatum had been enjoying a breakout season for the Celtics before the NBA was suspended on March 11, but it sounds like the 22-year-old has his priorities in order with basketball on pause.

UPDATE (1:30 p.m. ET): Tatum was asked about his pledge Monday during a conference call with reporters. Here's what he had to say:

"Just trying to find a way that I could be of some assistance during this time. Always trying to find a way to give back, especially back in St. Louis and, Brad [Beal] is from St. Louis as well, so he teamed up with me to donate to help the people back home in St. Louis, and then to help the city of Boston. That’s how that came about."