NBA.com editors Darren Misener, Martin Sumners and Jim Reilly will be keeping you updated on all the best news and content from around the 30 team sites in the Conference Call Blog. East, Week 1 | West, Week 1 | East, Week 2 | West, Week 2 | East, Week 3 | West, Week 3 | East, Week 4 | West, Week 4 | East, Week 5 | West, Week 5 | East, Week 6 | West, Week 6 | East, Week 7 | West, Week 7 | East, Week 8 | West, Week 8 | East, Week 9 | West, Week 9 | East, Week 10 | West, Week 10 | East, Week 11 | West, Week 11 | East, Week 12 | West, Week 12 | East, Week 13 | West, Week 13 | East, Week 14 | West, Week 14 | East, Week 15 | West, Week 15 | East, Week 15 | West, Week 15

Darren Misener

Taking Less For More
With all the moves around the league over the last month, there's plenty of room for some small roster transactions to slip through unnoticed, but one of those transactions involves a homecoming that might be just what a team needs to hoist the Larry O'Brien this June.

Last week in this space we told you that Dale Davis would probably be in a Pistons uniform by now. Well, the rumors were wrong an an entirely unforeseen player will most likely be roaming the paint and providing depth to Detroit's frontcourt come playoff time -- Theo Ratliff. Why did no one see this coming? Because Ratliff had to do something not seen often in professional sports to make it happen: give up money.

Ratliff had to reach a settlement on a buyout of his contract in order to make the deal work, taking less money to get a shot at a ring. Ratliff's probable return to the Pistons (The 6-foot-10 forward began his career in Detroit, playing from 1995-97) gives Detroit not just another body in the mix but someone with a specific skill set against the quick power forwards Detroit is likely to face in the playoffs and beyond.

As Pistons.com's Keith Langlois writes, "There’s no one player out there who causes similar maneuvering, but – pure speculation here – one of the appeals to Joe Dumars and the Pistons might have been that Ratliff will be a viable option against Kevin Garnett, who would have been far too quick and mobile for Davis to check, if the Pistons and Celtics clash in the conference finals. There’s also the West to consider. Take your pick who might show up in the NBA Finals, but smart money would be on either the Lakers or Spurs. I’d rather have Ratliff available to throw at Pau Gasol or Tim Duncan for three- or four-minute stretches than Davis."

With everyone talking about the Cavs trade and the Celtics dominating the East, no one saw this coming or are giving it much attention. But Ratliff's desire for a ring might be visible to all in the coming months, as the Pistons just keep getting deeper.



Not a Cure-All
For years the Hawks have been told how much they need a point guard writes Lang Whitaker, but after bringing in Mike Bibby, Atlanta lost four of its next five.

One Of Those Loses...
Pete Stringer of Celtics.com blogs live courtside from Sunday's game as Boston dispatched the Hawks 98-88.

Wallace Health Update
After suffering Grade 3 concussion on February 22 against the Kings, Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace started developing post-concussion symptoms last week.

A Dasha of Wisdom
Luvabulls dancer Dasha blogs for Bulls.com and discusses how her superstitions helped land her on the team.

The Return Home
Fred McLeod blogs on Cavs.com about Sunday's return of Drew Gooden and Larry Hughes to Cleveland. Only a short time removed from the trade, it was a bit strange for everyone.


A Worthy Cause
Bucks.com is hosting an Dan Gadzuric and his finance Lisette Franco to raise $400,000 to purchase special beds for our most fragile newborns.

The Game and The Show
Da' T.R.U.T.H. will play a free postgame concert after the Sixers game on Friday against the Sonics.

McGuire's Mail
Wizards youngster Dominic McGuire answers questions from fans on his transition to the NBA.