Ratliff, Pryzbilla Provide Stability Inside

Discussion in 'Portland Trail Blazers' started by Shapecity, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. Shapecity

    Shapecity S2/JBB Teamster Staff Member Administrator

    Jan 30, 2003
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    <div class="quote_poster">Quote:</div><div class="quote_post">When Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan substitutes players, he might fret about lack of experience among the guards or forwards playing out of position. But when he puts Theo Ratliff in for Joel Przybilla, or vice versa, he feels confident that the center position will remain in steady hands.

    "Theo's been good; Joel's been good," McMillan said. "That position's been great."

    McMillan says center has become the Blazers' most dependable position, one featuring two players with similar skills splitting time. Either could probably start for most NBA teams, so the situation relies on them remaining good team players, but so far it has worked well.

    "They both give you very similar work on the floor," McMillan said. "The team's comfortable with either guy out there."

    Przybilla has started all five games, but Ratliff, who with 10 years in the NBA is the Blazers' most experienced player, has come on strong in the last two.

    Against New York on Wednesday, he played 35 minutes and had seven rebounds and two blocks and scored two key baskets down the stretch. Against Detroit on Friday, he played 26 minutes and had 14 rebounds.

    The performances recalled Ratliff's play in 2004 after he came to Portland from Atlanta and became an active, shot-blocking force who sent incumbent center Dale Davis to the bench.

    "It feels good going out there, competing, having fun," Ratliff said.

    Ratliff said the injured left shoulder that slowed him much of last season and in training camp is starting to feel better, letting him play more aggressively.

    "I'm still rehabbing it, but it's feeling pretty good," Ratliff said. "It still bothers me every now and then, but it's just something I'm going to continue to rehab." </div>


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