Boston Celtics assistant coach Jay Larranaga has been working closely with the league’s tallest player and Larranaga, along with the rest of the team’s coaching staff, say they’re very impressed with Tacko Fall’s game and hope it can reach new unforeseen heights in 2020-21.
Earlier in the year, Tacko says the two mapped out a strength and conditioning regimen that went awry due to COVID-19 and the NBA shutting down the season.
“Second half of (last) season I was in Boston a lot working with Coach Jay Larranaga,” Fall said Sunday afternoon, via Mass Live. “I went through a whole program for strength and conditioning until the season got caught short with the COVID-19.”
Brad Stevens On Tacko Fall’s Development: ‘He’s Such A Unique Player
After a short break, the two picked up right where they left off. Larranaga has placed a great emphasis on Tacko’s outside shot, generating outside looks for Fall to help him get comfortable with shooting behind the arc.
This is, in addition, to also getting him more reps with the team’s offense, including pick-and-roll sets to improve his pass, and dribbling.
“He’s such a unique player,” Brad Stevens said via Mass Live. “Our team is generally not a post-up team, just based on the strengths of our other players. And he does a good job of balancing what some of our other bigs do with doing his strengths, and we all need to recognize that when he’s in the game and try to take advantage of that.”
Brad Stevens On Tacko Fall: ‘He’s Improved In Every Which Way’
It’s been over a year since Fall first entered the league as an undrafted rookie. Many questioned if Tacko’s game was NBA-ready, they wondered if his large stature would ultimately limit the 7-foot-5 center’s offensive potential and if he was quick enough to be an efficient defender at the pro level.
Now, one year removed from first coming to Boston, Stevens says Fall has made vast improvements in more ways than one.
“I think he’s improved in every which way,” Stevens said, via Mass Live. “He works really hard. I think his body looks great. I feel like he’s in good shape as he’s been. And we’re glad he’s here.”
Adding dimensions to Fall’s offensive prowess; a skillset expected from an everyday big man in today’s NBA still needs to be honed. For that, the Celtics have tossed Tacko into offensive plays that don’t always end with a high-percentage shot for the big, instead, Stevens gives Tacko reps where he’s forced to look for the right pass or put the ball on the floor in the teeth of the defense, which Fall is still getting comfortable with.
“Coming out of college pretty much all I would do is run rim to rim and just post up in the block,” Fall said, via Mass Live. “Here we run a lot of actions through the bigs; especially in the free-throw line area. So being able to hand the ball in there, being able to hand it off to the guards coming off screens, and being able to move without the ball was something I had to learn last year.
“I’ve done a lot of different things, especially with coach Jay, to be able to help with that.”
Fans will get their firsthand look at Fall and the Celtics Tuesday night when they kick off their preseason schedule against the Philadelphia 76ers in Philly.