Tacko Fall, the tallest player in the NBA, showed out in the Summer League for the Celtics, but there’s more to Tacko than just his height and wingspan.
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I just think this is unfair. (High school Tacko) Tacko Fall went undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft, but was picked up by the Celtics for the summer league and now has made their training camp with a chance to compete for the final roster spot on the Celtics. We got to see a lot of him in the summer league and I know it’s just the summer league, but I wanted to breakdown the essentials of Tacko’s game to see just how good is he and what people don’t notice about him. Drop a like for Taco Tuesday even though it’s Friday,
Yeah I just said Tacko Fall can dunk without jumping. Apart from just being 7’ 6”, he has a 8’ 2” wingspan with a 10’ 2” standing reach. But there’s a lot more to him than just his height. Let me get the obvious out of the way. Tacko Fall is a really good blocker as he should be. His long wingspan and height make it impossible to get a shot over him. In college basketball, he had an 11.5% shot-blocking rate which was top 5 in all of college basketball and in the summer league, Tacko averaged 1.4 blocks a game in only 12.6 minutes a game. In the summer league, Tacko averaged 7.2 points and 4 rebounds on 77% shooting from the field. I was amazed by his ball control. Tacko Fall’s hands measure 10.5 inches in length and 10.5 inches in span, making them the 2nd longest hands in NBA history and the 14th widest hands in NBA history. That is crazy. Not every tall player has these type of hands. Manute Bol didn’t even make top 15 in hand sizes. He can extend the hand with the ball towards the basket which leaves little space to even get between the ball and the rim. It’s not that Tacko is just shooting over people, he’s releasing the ball so close to the rim even when he is outside the restricted area. Don’t forget, he challenged Zion.
Tacko Fall is not your typical super tall big man. Usually guys that above 7’ 1” tend to be skinny like Bol Bol or Manute Bol or oversized like Sim Bhullar who was 7’ 5” 359 pounds. Tacko Fall kinda falls in that Porzingis to Yao Ming weight in his first year. Porzingis was drafted with a weight of 230 pounds at a height of 7’ 3”. Yao Ming was 7’ 6” 296 pounds coming into the NBA. Tacko Fall is 289 pounds and has been putting more and more weight on to keep his position in the paint. Now I know BMI, which takes into account your mass based on your height, isn’t always the best measurement because muscle weighs more than fat and so it can be skewed for athletes or bodybuilders, but for the purposes of just simply comparing weights at different heights, it’s pretty good for that. Porzingod had a BMI of 21.4, Yao Ming had a BMI of 25.7, Tacko Fall has a BMI of 25.1.
Tacko Fall had the worst lane agility and 3/4ths sprint in the draft combine so even with his long legs, he was the slowest. That means that Tacko Fall can’t really be involved in pick and rolls unless he drops down.
What most people don’t see when watching Tacko Fall is just how much IQ he has. Yeah, Tacko has improved his positioning on the court to make the most use of the tools he currently as. He doesn’t try to do too much or go out of his role and that in itself is encouraging for coaches since they can rely on him to do the given task. Coaches in the summer league have been surprised by just how much IQ Tacko has and how he understands the different sets and floor spacing. It’s true that these are parts of basketball that can be learned, but it’s important for Tacko to have a personality that is willing to learn.
What can he do from here? Well for one, he can improve his strength. He could develop more of a post game and a softer touch to make himself an unguardable force down low. He definitely needs to increase his stamina. Tacko isn’t capped out, there is room for improvement. His height and wingspan already give him something no one in the NBA has right now. And even though people aren’t noticing it, his hand size and court positioning give him a leg up on a lot of players. I’m not sure if Tacko will make the official Celtics roster, they do need big men, but I can see Tacko becoming a force if he continues to develop at the rate he is, and man do I love me some Tacko, but what do you think? Will Tacko Fall play in the NBA this season? Is he a future star?