The Boston Celtics drafted Fab Melo as a project, hoping that one day his 84 inches of potential will blossom into an NBA-caliber player. Despite several impressive college accomplishments in just two seasons at Syracuse, including the Big East Defensive Player of the Year Award, Melo has enough holes in his game to sink a ship. He’s not yet aware of everything he’s supposed to provide on pick-and-roll coverage and his offensive repertoire could use a large dose of Hakeem Olajuwon.
But Melo improved immensely between his freshman and sophomore years at Syracuse, and teammate Kris Joseph said he has continued to improve throughout the offseason. (ESPN Boston)
“He’s making strides,” said Joseph. “He’s in better shape, he’s trimmed down tremendously. He’s a guy I’ve been with for two years, and I remember his jump from his freshman year to his sophomore year, and he puts in a lot of work that people may not see all the time. But I was there, personally, and I saw the hard work that he puts in and his dedication to the game. So, since summer league, he’s really been doing well, pick-and-rolling like they want him to, dunking, blocking shots. He’s doing all the things necessary to win basketball games.”
The Celtics don’t expect much from Melo in Year 1. When he’s in Boston, he’ll be asked to learn from Kevin Garnett, provide shot-blocking on occasions when the normal Celtics rotational big men are injured or in foul trouble, and generally begin to become who the Celtics hope he can be.
For now, Melo’s working on his game. And dunking on people. And getting the favor returned.
“Fab dunked on me three times,” admitted Joseph. “I was late on a couple rotations. But I got him back [Thursday]. Real good. For game point. Yeah, I dunked on him [Thursday].”