Season Preview - Theo Ratliff
We continue our in-depth season previews with all you need to know about Theo Ratliff.
Scroll down for: Ratliff's Bio; Ratliff's Numbers; Coach J.B. Bickerstaff's analysis; Timberwolves.com analysis and Ratliff's Five Facts.
Center Theo Ratliff came to Minnesota in the Kevin Garnett trade on July 31, 2007. The big man had season-ending lower back surgery in 2006-07, but is healthy coming into this season. Among the best shot blockers in NBA history, only three active players - Shaquille O'Neal, Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo - have more career blocks than Ratliff.
Heading into his 13th NBA season, Ratliff led the entire league in blocks with 307 in 2003-04, and gives Minnesota its first true shot-blocker perhaps in franchise history. His 12.4 ppg in 00-01 for Philadelphia was a career high, and Ratliff has a career average of 8.0 ppg. He's also pulled down 4,209 rebounds in 679 career games (6.20 rpg).
His full name is Theophalus Curtis Ratliff, and he and his wife Kristina have six children: Adonis, Darius, Stacia, Yasmeen, Alexis and Sasha. Ratliff played his college ball at Wyoming, where he was a communications major.
COACH J.B. BICKERSTAFF SAYS...
"He's a shot blocker, and he's the anchor of your defense. Any good defensive team has a strong anchor, because he cleans up mistakes. Offensively, the way the rules are set up, guys are going to get the basket, but he's there to change shots, block shots, and he also helps you get your fastbreak going by blocking those shots."
People looked at the KG trade and thought Ratliff was there solely for his big salary that comes off the books at the conclusion to the season. But wait a second ... He looks really good. Perhaps most importantly, a healthy Theo Ratliff completely changes the way your team plays defense. Everyone else can be more aggressive, knowing he's waiting with his long arms.
RATLIFF'S FIVE FACTS
1) Ratliff’s favorite non-NBA sports team is the St. Louis Rams. Tough year...
2) His favorite TV show is BET’s “ComicView.”
3) Ratliff concluded his college career with 425 blocked shots, the second-best total in NCAA history behind Alonzo Mourning's 453.
4) He's a member of the NBA's All-Star Reading Team.
5) Along with Jerry Stackhouse and Aaron McKie, Ratliff was traded from Detroit to Philadelphia for Eric Montross on 12/18/97.
COMING SOON: CHRIS RICHARD