Pregame Post-Ups: Fall Working Behind the Scenes on Ball Handling

Sunday, September 27 - Game 6 - Celtics at Heat

Pregame – Fall Working Behind the Scenes on Ball Handling

Celtics rookie Tacko Fall hasn’t had the opportunity to play much during these Playoffs, but don’t let that take away from the work that he’s doing behind the scenes to get better every day.

One of Fall’s main focuses throughout the past year has been improving his ball-handling skills. Before every game, assistant coach Jay Larranaga runs the 7-foot-6 center through a long set of dribbling drills, which can be tricky for a man of Fall’s size, but he has stuck with it and shown improvement.

Head coach Brad Stevens touched upon the importance of Fall going through such drills prior to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals Sunday evening, noting how many teams nowadays rely on their bigs to handle the ball at times.

“The ball skills of big guys is critical,” Stevens commented ahead of tip-off against the Miami Heat. “The ability to hand off, the ability to take two or three dribbles and make a play for somebody else, the ability to catch it in the seam and read the attack and the action, what that does, all those things that Jay creatively comes up with, is it builds just this ability to handle all of that.”

This is a great series for Fall to observe, considering the fact that Boston is facing off against one of the league's best ball-handling bigs in Bam Adebayo, who averaged 5.1 assists per game this season while often playing a point-center role for Miami.

“Bam Adebayo, in a lot of ways, is the hub of their offense,” Stevens noted. “They're running everything at the elbows through him, at the top of the key through him. He plays point a lot for them. Not necessarily that you would ever put Tacko in those positions, but he does have to be able to hand off, hit a backdoor pass, drive it from the top of the key if he's open and do what he does best. That stuff just makes him better. The more a big can handle the ball, the more a big can make the quick right read, the more versatile their options are as they move through their career.”

While Fall hasn’t had many opportunities to showcase his handling skills just yet, he will continue to work behind the scenes at every practice and before every game. As long as he maintains such a strong work ethic, those skills should come in handy for him down the line.

- Taylor Snow


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