What Bol Bol Can and Can’t do for the Celtics

Bol Bol, 6-Foot-10 Son of Manute, Adjusts to High School Basketball - The  New York Times
NY Times

This past week the Celtics now have the 7’2 forward Bol Bol from the Denver Nuggets in a three team deal. 

Fans in Boston are ecstatic to have a seven footer who can dribble and shoot. And while the C’s are struggling with a 23-24 record, they need the help. However, before folks get too excited there should be some things Boston Celtics fans should know about the former Oregon Duck.

He CAN be a great addition and a potential star

When you look on paper this man is amazing. At 22 years old, Bol Bol can handle the ball with a decent crossover. His wingspan is remarkable. He can shoot it from deep. And the kid is able to play a role if need be. In the paint he can jam the ball with ease due to his height, and his post game is decent with a easy advantage over 95% of the league. He’s mobil on the perimeter when defending and can block shots with ease. But this is all possible IF he’s on the court which highlights the next point. 

He CAN’T stay healthy for a full season

Bol Bol has only played 53 games since being drafted three years ago. His second season he played the most at 32 games only averaging 5 minutes and 2.2 points a game. Two weeks ago he was supposed to be traded to Detroit but it was voided because he didn’t pass his physical fitness exam. Currently he’s out indefinitely after surgery to his right foot. So although he might be a good addition to Boston, it may take some time before we see if that actually happens.

He CAN’T solve all of Boston’s defensive issues

Why didn’t Tacko Fall work out? He was a seven foot Center. Well it’s sort of similar to this situation in Bol Bol. Being 7’2, the mobility and speed is always impacted. Not everyone can be like Kevin Durant. On the fast break Bol is a step behind. In the new era of Centers where 6’10-7 foot guys are strong and fast it leaves Bol Bol with a disadvantage defensively. Guys like Joel Embiid and Jokic can easily take him off the dribble or abuse him on the post. He can add some inside defense help with a few extra blocked shots but the game is changing. Players need to be more skilled. 

Having said all this, I wouldn’t be completely surprised if the young man doesn’t playa single game in a Celtic uniform. Guys this tall always attract attention from fans but real basketball savants know they never truly work. They’re either not strong enough or a liability on defense. Bol Bol’s offensive game might make up for it but that’s a huge if. That’s the only thing that keeps things interested. 

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