If Allen Iverson is what makes the 76ers' offense go -- and who's going to argue that? -- Theo Ratliff is the man who fuels the defense.
The young power forward scores almost 12 points a game for Philly, taking a little heat off his teammate Iverson, the NBA's leading scorer. But it's on defense, where his 2.98 blocks per game ranked third in the league this season, that Ratliff really shines.
"We're at our best," 76ers coach Larry Brown said, "when he's on top of his game. Everyone knows this."
Ratliff averaged 8.1 rebounds a game this season, 20th in the NBA, and was named to the All-Defensive team (second team). He had a streak of 68 straight games with a block stopped earlier this year.
"He's the best defensive player on a team that's in the playoffs," 76ers forward Tyrone Hill said after the announcement that Ratliff had made the All-Defensive team.
The rangy forward has been stymied by sore knees this season at times, and that was a big reason he struggled through the first three games of the 76ers' first-round win over Orlando. He came back in Game 4, though, with four blocks, including two key ones in the final minutes.
"He was phenomenal," Brown said of Ratliff after the game. "We take for granted Allen's game ... [but] to respond like [Ratliff] did late in the game, there's not enough you can say."