It's Tacko Everyday in Vegas, As Fall's Showing He Belongs
LAS VEGAS – Forget Taco Tuesday. It’s Tacko Everyday in Las Vegas.
Tacko Fall has quickly become the most popular player at the NBA’s Summer League in Las Vegas now that Zion Williamson is sidelined with an injury. No player draws more cheers for checking in, or more boos for checking out, than the 7-foot-6 Fall.
And this isn’t only due to his spectacular size. The guy is legitimately making plays and affecting games.
Monday’s 89-72 victory over the Cavaliers was the latest example of such, as Fall tallied 12 points, a rebound, an assist and a blocked shot in less than 12 minutes of action. He made all five of his shot attempts on the night.
Through two games, Fall has totaled 18 points on 8-for-9 shooting, five rebounds and two blocked shots in just 22 minutes of playing time. Those numbers are all the evidence one needs to understand why Fall is smiling after his first two games in Vegas.
“It’s been a great experience so far,” he said Monday night. “I’ve said it a couple of times, I feel blessed for the opportunity and just for the love that the fans have shown me since I got here.”
Fall’s teammates feel blessed to be on the court with him, too. They’re quickly learning that playing with a 7-foot-6 center has plenty of advantages.
Take Tremont Waters, for instance. Waters is Boston’s starting point guard who stands in at 5-foot-11. He is learning that his new teammate can bail him out of problematic situations in a heartbeat.
“If we are in trouble, we just throw it up and it’ll look like a great play,” said Waters, who tossed an oop to Fall Monday night. “I can’t describe it, honestly. You can’t teach 7-6. That’s it.”
Head coach Scott Morrison said that he’s been impressed by Fall’s ability to corral such passes and make it look so easy.
“Obviously he has the highest reach, but there’s still dudes climbing on his back and trying to claw for the ball,” Morrison said. “His ability to just catch it, not travel, gather himself and go up – or, just reach up – was impressive today.”
Fall, who went undrafted on Draft night, has certainly turned some heads by completing such plays and showcasing better-than-expected foot speed. He is making it be known that he very well may carve out a niche for himself in a league that is trending smaller and smaller in terms of the size of its players.
“In theory, worst-case scenario, he’s a specialty player you put in for situations and certain matchups,” said Morrison. “And then on the upside, I think he can be a pretty solid, serviceable big man who’s going to give you some bonus stuff around the rim in terms of protecting the hoop and every now and then bailing you out of a bad possession, just by being able to catch it high in the middle of the paint.”
All of those possibilities have been showcased through the first two games of Boston’s Summer League stay. Fall has been used as a specialty player to defend late-clock inbound passes, he has snagged high passes out of the clouds, and he has provided the Celtics with easy points at the rim.
All to the pleasure of those who have been cheering him on in Las Vegas.