The Herald, The Globe, and The Daily News Tribune all have articles on Ratliff's return to practice. It is interesting that Ratliff has seen the problems with our defense and has been working on fixing them from the practice floor.
"It's about communicating on the floor," Ratliff said, talking about Defense 101. "I think we get up on our man too much and lose position a lot. And that's why people are running right down the middle on us and getting layups. We've got to curtail that to be a better team.
"I can be a helper on that, but everyone has to learn how to communicate on the floor. When you're doing that, that's the sign of a great defensive team. People who talk on defense, [who let] people know if you're getting back-doored or if you need help where the ball is. So everybody's alert."
This just reinforces my thoughts that Doc doesn't have a clue how to coach defense. Maybe we should fire Doc and make Theo our player coach.
Mark Murphy's notebook reports on the Celtics search for a 3rd scoring option behind Pierce and Wally. We have players step up from game to game but no one has been consistent. Al, Delonte, Telfair, Gomes, and Green all have the potential to fill this role but all have been inconsistent so far.
USA Today reports that the Celtics are looking to Telfair to be their playmaker. I am not completely sure that Telfair is going to be our future PG for the long run. Rondo just has so much going for him, especially on the defensive end, that I think he will end up be the starting point guard eventually. He just needs to improve his shooting. Telfair had a break out game against the Wizards, but his defense is still very suspect.
Over on CelticsStuff Live, The Duke has a good piece on what is wrong with the Celtics. Much of it comes down to coaching and lack of defense (which also comes down to coaching). I am happy to hear that Ratliff is finally coaching this team in how to play defense... someone has to. Delonte is struggling to switch from playing the 1 to playing the 2 right now and hopefully he will get it soon because we really could use the Delonte of last season back again.
Full Court Press is offering bandwagon seats cheap. This piece makes a good case for why Wally should come off the bench and discusses the problems on this team. All is not lost though as it also points out things to be encouraged about.
If only Ratliff is the answer to our early season struggles. He'll help, but he won't impact our game as much as we hope. We still give up too much easy points from the perimeter (Jamison and Arenas scorched us from beyond the arc). I actually thought we did alright guarding big men in the paint (Perk, Jefferson and Kandi have been battling guys inside and altering shots).
But right now, any kind of defensive spark may help ingite the rest of our team game, so here's to hoping that Ratliff can remain a healthy contributor the rest of the way.