As the Boston Celtics look to extend their winning streak to four game Friday night at TD Garden, Tacko Fall is roughly 100 miles north in Portland, Maine developing his game.
The 7-foot-5 center got his first NBA regular-season action Saturday, scoring four points in four minutes against the New York Knicks. But G League training camps kicked off Monday, meaning Fall and fellow two-way player Tremont Waters reported north to be with the Maine Red Claws. He’s got a long way to go in his development as an NBA player, but Kemba Walker and Brad Stevens are confident in the 23-year-old big man.
“One day he’ll be with us full time, for sure,” Walker told ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan. “He’s talented, and he works so hard. I don’t think people understand things he can do for his size. He surprised me with his ability to get up and down the court.”
That’s been a feeling across the board early in Fall’s career. He moves well for his size, which is key in today’s NBA. Stevens reiterated this as well, but also noted that the speed of the game is something he’ll need to adjust to, just like every other rookie entering the league.
“He actually does a pretty good job of sitting down, guarding the pick-and-roll,” Stevens said. “Now, there’s going to be some matchups that are very tough. And then there’s getting the speed of the game down. … I don’t care how fast you are, whether you are Kemba Walker or Jaylen Brown, there’s still a transition in learning the speed of the game. It’s the hardest part for young players.”
Fall, along with Waters, can be with the Celtics for no more than 45 days this season, per two-way contract regulations, meaning he’ll spend the majority of his rookie year with the Red Claws. He’ll log his first day of the 45-day clock Friday, as Fall was recalled from Portland ahead of Friday’s game.
New York and Boston are set to tip-off Friday night at 7:30 p.m. ET.