When thinking about the Celtics roster, one can easily start comparing and contrasting players within a group. Jaylen Brown vs Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart vs Grant Williams, Gordon Hayward vs Jayson Tatum, etc. Each individual player in each pairing have their strengths and weakness both on and off the court. For example, in comparing Brown and Walker, Kemba can knock down threes over Brown any day, but in sheer coolness, Brown takes the day. An interesting match up for me is Tacko Fall and Vincent Poirier. Both Fall and Poirier are new additions to the roster this year, and each bring a uniqueness to the team. I've broken down the match-up into three categories, Cool Points, Overall Box Scores and Celtics Contributions.
I have to give this match up to Tacko. It's not that I think Vincent is without coolness. He is, after all, from France and has a wicked cool accent, but... he is lacking the cult following that #99 has. One may argue it's an unfair advantage being 7"6" tall, the media following and let's face it, the coolest name ever, but Tacko just has a likability about him that draws people in. In a recent Twitter poll, I asked for a vote, although no explanations were given, it was very clear that Twitter fans wants more Tacko as well. I think what also makes Tacko such a winner in this category is how he takes all this Tackomania in his stride. It's not affecting his work ethic and his relationship with fellow teammates. I like that a lot. Vincent, I know there's more to you than we've been able to see thus far, but for now, Tacko owns the coolness factor.
OVERALL BOX SCORES
This category is a little more difficult to declare a clear cut winner simply because both Fall and Poirier are coming to us from other arenas than the NBA (with the exception of a couple summer league appearances by Poirier) and neither have played extensive minutes. Vincent has been playing overseas since 2013, while Tacko has only played in college since 2015. Because of this, I'm giving the advantage to Poirier. He's had more time to stack up blocks, rebounds, points and has landed a spot on the Celtics roster. I hope to see more of what Vincent can bring over the course of the season, I've heard hopeful things about him from fellow sports fans. I also believe in his time with the Maine Red Claws, we're going to see a huge improvement in Tacko's play. It'll be interesting to revisit this comparison at the end of the season and see who is the most improved and contributes more.
Again, this is a little harder to determine since Vincent has had very limited minutes as a Boston Celtic, and the same goes for Tacko Fall. I believe both bleed green and will do whatever they are called upon to do. Vincent has to compete for minutes against the likes of Daniel Theis, Enes Kanter, and Rob Williams, so it's hard for him to get onto the floor. In the four games Poirier has stepped onto the court, he's played an average of 5 minutes, scored 4 points, has a 28.6 FG%, 1 rebound and no assists. Tacko Fall has stepped onto the court once as a Celtic, played 4 minutes, scored 4 points, has a 50 FG%, 3 rebounds and no assists. With these stats alone, I have to give this match up to Tacko. Celtic's box scores aside, I can also say the moment Tacko steps onto the court, regardless of whose home court it is, the fans become electric, which brings a natural boost to our guys battling it out for the past however many minutes on the floor. That's a contribution that can't be measured by any box score, and is another reason Tacko's contribution ranks a little higher.
Regardless of who has come out on top here, I believe both Vincent and Tacko give their all to this sport and are ready when called upon. I plan on cheering them both on, whether it's in Portland Maine or Boston MA, and can't wait to see more from them as at the season progresses.