He’s been waiting for this.
In just his second game for the Maine Red Claws, Tacko Fall balled out. This was more than just a seven foot big man hurting opposing teams on the glass. It was a throw back, back to the times of back-to-the-basket centers.
While he splits the opinions of Celtics fans, there is no denying he has the ability to affect the course of games. Sure, the G-League is lower talent level to the NBA, but you can only beat what’s in front of you.
Coming off the bench for the second consecutive game, Fall seems to have a positional battle with Yante Maten on his hands. And with both performing their duties well, there is no sign of who will win this one. They both shared the minutes equally however, with each of them seeing the floor for twenty-seven minutes a piece.
Fall first checked into the game with 8:30 remaining on the clock in the first quarter. He pulled down five rebounds while going 2-of-4 from the field, finishing the quarter with five rebounds and four points. There was also two blocked shots for Fall in this quarter, where he swatted two separate layup attempts. Think twice when attacking the paint if Tacko is in there.
Fall started the second quarter for the Red Claws and quickly repaid their faith. In the first three minutes of play, he had two rebounds and two baskets, with one rebound being on the offensive glass. Fall then sat with just under nine minutes remaining in the quarter. Two and a half minutes later he was back in action. He was anonymous for just over two minutes before grabbing a rebound with five minutes remaining.
A couple more rebounds would be all Fall could contribute before going back to the bench when replaced by Maten with 2:49 remaining on the clock. Entering the game again with a minute left, Fall went to work. He grabbed two rebounds and made two shots in that one minute time span with the only negative being called for a three-second violation on defense. He had another two blocks in this quarter. Again, both of the attempts were layups. Of his four blocks so far in the game, three were against Walter Lemon Jr., former Summer Celtic, which is a nice little side stat.
That would end his first half of the game where he totaled eleven rebounds, four blocks, and twelve points.
Fall didn’t see the floor again until four minutes into the third quarter, when he was subbed in for Brown. He would get back in the box score with three minutes remaining, getting fouled on a shot attempt and draining the subsequent free throws. Shortly after, Maten’s number would be called to replace Fall on the court. A quiet quarter in comparison to the rest of the game, but he looked great off the ball during this stretch.
He did however, have ANOTHER block on Lemon Jr making that four on the night against him and five in total so far.
Fall would start the fourth quarter on the floor, grabbing another board and making a nice dunk within the first two minutes. A missed shot and turnover would follow, but they appear to be outliers in what was becoming a very successful night for the young big.
After going to the bench for Maten, Fall would re-enter the game with 8:25 remaining. He would see court time again no less than two minutes later, drawing a foul on his next shot attempt. The shot would count providing him with a three-point-play opportunity, but unfortunately, he missed the free-throw.
More of the same would continue for the remaining time in the quarter, Fall would sit once more and then come back into the game again. They seem to be ensuring he doesn't spend extended time on the court in one chunk. A final block would put the icing on the cake for Tacko, where he had been a menace on the court all night.
Finishing the game with 16 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks, this was a great game for Tacko Fall. A game where he showed an ability to run the floor, set screens for his teammates, and impact the game on both ends of the court.
While Tacko brings the most media attention, it benefits his teammates, too. Now they have genuine interest being shown in their performances and a bigger stage to perform.
The Red Claws were just informed the media was entering the locker room.— Tom Westerholm (@Tom_NBA) November 16, 2019
A Red Claws player: “We didn’t have this before Tacko got here, dammit.”
Tremon Waters took advantage of this attention, displaying his credentials while on the way to dropping 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists in 31 minutes. Maten was on form, too. He finished the game with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Here is the full box score:
Two games played, one record set, and two wins. It’s looking rosy for Tacko in Maine right now.