This is excellent news. Danny's draft day trade is looking better and better. Very interesting that he singled Gomes out for praise. We can only hope that he stays healthy and if he does, he will make a big difference for us, both by teaching our young bigs and by giving us a rebounding and shot blocking center when Perk isn't in. Between Ratliff and Clifford Ray, our bigs should make a huge leap this season.
Joining forces: Theo Ratliff joins Wally Szczerbiak and Paul Pierce as one of the veterans on a young Celtics squad this season. Celtics.com checked in with Theo this week after some pick-up ball in Waltham to talk about his role on the team.
School brought Theo Ratliff to Boston about a month before training camp.
He had to get his kids enrolled for the fall, and he's already done a little teaching in Waltham with some of his young Celtics teammates. When we caught up with him on Wednesday, he had just played a few rounds of pickup with Ryan Gomes, Rajon Rondo, Allan Ray, Dwayne Jones, Gerald Green, Tony Allen and Kevin Pittsnogle.
At 33, Ratliff has more NBA experience (11 years) than everyone else in the gym combined.
"We have a lot of quality young players here who are very eager to learn and listen," Ratliff said as he watched the young guys hit the bikes hard with Strength and Conditioning Coaches Bryan Doo and Walter Norton. "My role is just to play off my experience and help get them some experience."
Ratliff's reputation as an all-around good guy precedes him here in Boston, and he takes more of a lead-by-example approach rather than dispensing unsolicited advice.
"I'm more of a worker than a talker," Ratliff said. "I want guys to see that I'm out here working early, and I'm going to give 110% when I'm out on the floor. I want them to realize that in order to have longevity in this league, you've gotta learn how to work."
It was suggested that the young pups may be able to push him to play harder due to having more energy thanks to their youth, but Ratliff objected. He says he hasn’t lost much in his game, and he can still run with the best of them. When he needs an advantage, he knows how to get it. He can just dip into his playbook of tricks of the trade, things that were passed down to him when he was trying to find his way in the NBA. [More] source:Celtics.com
If Ratliff can make a resurgence in his career and stay healthy, he may be competing against Perkins for the starting spot. His experience will be a big factor, but he's going to have a hard time going up against Perk's strength and rugged style of play.
That's the big word, Esco. Theo needs to remain healthy. I'm encouraged by the interview. He's 32 years old and that's not really over the hill yet (in basketball terms) and he may have some game still left in his tank. We really need more shot blocking and it'll be a boost if he can provide some of that for us.