We continue to preview the Boston Celtics roster for the 2012-2013 season and today we look at Fab Melo’s outlook for this upcoming season. Along with his college teammate from Syracuse, Kris Joseph, Melo was also drafted by the Celtics in last June’s NBA draft.
Melo, originally from Brazil, did not start playing basketball until he was in high school. He was a soccer player, as funny as that sounds for someone who is 7 feet tall. He was one of the most sought after recruits in the country his senior year in high school and he ultimately opted to play for Syracuse over offers from Louisville and other top collegiate programs.
Let’s begin with the strengths. He is a terrific shot blocker. He has great instincts to block the shot at its highest point and he uses his athleticism to cover a lot of space. He is also great at cleaning up the offensive glass and getting easy baskets by put backs and tip in’s.
Melo also comes with his weaknesses and this is where head coach Doc Rivers will earn his paycheck. He was booted off the team his senior year for a number of issues that we will not get into. He is extremely raw offensively and his jump shot is almost non-existent. He also played strictly in a zone defense, so his knowledge of pick and roll defense is poor. Anyone familiar with the Celtics knows that if you’re a big man and you want to play, you need to know how to play against the pick and roll. This is something that seriously concerns me and you can bet Doc and company will make sure that he knows his defensive assignments.
For this upcoming season, it is hard to pin point exactly how much of a role Melo will have on the team. With Greg Stiemsma’s departure to the Minnesota Timberwolves, there are available center minutes. However, Melo has a lot of learning to do and it will take some time. He is far from a finished product. I could see him getting some of the minutes that Ryan Hollins got last season, and it is ironic because that is the player most similar to Melo at this juncture. He has the potential to improve as his career progresses, but he also very easily has the potential to flame out and continuously battle to make an NBA roster. Melo controls his own destiny.
Rob Lunder covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. For all Celtics news, check out the Boston Celtics homepage on Rant Sports.