Melo to Fill Out Game, Frame in Maine

Fab Melo has a lot of room for growth. He'll find the time in Maine.
The Boston Celtics have assigned Fab Melo to the Maine Red Claws with high hopes of tapping into the potential that the 7-footer brings to the table.

The Celtics drafted the Syracuse alum in the first round of the NBA Draft this year. But before getting the chance to play in the NBA, Melo needs to learn a lot of fundamentals of the game. A common observation about Melo's game is the big man lacks a lot of basketball IQ and finesse that other dominating centers in the NBA possess.

Celtics president Danny Ainge told ESPN earlier this month "Fab is a late bloomer in basketball. He took up the game late and he's got a lot to learn about the game itself. He has good athletic instincts, but he does need to learn about execution, both offensively and defensively."

Melo is also a little lanky in his physique, so aside from getting valuable playing time in the NBA D-League to hone his game, he'll have to hit the gym a bit as well.

That being said, Melo has plenty of the makings of a player who could tear it up not only in the D-League, but one day in the NBA. After all, he was easily the break out star for Syracuse last year, one of the top teams in the nation, and was named the Big East's Defensive Player of the Year. And the timing of Melo's D-League assignment is excellent. Many of the Celtics bigs like Kevin Garnett are inching towards the end of their careers, and with a few years of improvement, Melo has the potential of blooming into one of the top players for the Celtics.

The last thing he'll have to do to make an impact in the NBA D-League is shake off the "lazy" label a few people have assigned to him. After having an explosive season with Syracuse last season, he was forced to sit out the NCAA tournament because of academic ineligibility. The faster he proves he's willing to work hard in the D-League will only translate to speeding up his chances of getting that coveted NBA Call-Up.

All in all, expect Melo to be one of the most exciting prospects to watch in the NBA D-League this season. He's got a lot to work on, but his talent and potential are indisputable.