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Too many whistles while he works

03.18.09 at 11:21 pm ET
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“Foul on number seven, Mikki Moore.”

Those words have become all too familiar since Moore joined the Boston Celtics in February.

Moore has fouled out of the last two games, including Wednesday night’s overtime win against the Miami Heat. (He was gone after playing less than 17 minutes.) Over the last five games, he has been whistled for a league-leading total of 26 personal fouls. (Recap here)

“I’m playing aggressive, trying to do the right thing, and most of my calls are just touch fouls,”  Moore said after the game.  “That’s why I’m frustrated. But a foul is a foul. I have to make my fouls count.”

Moore explains there is a difference between a good foul and a bad foul. He should know. He led the NBA with 310 personal fouls during the 2008 season.

“A bad foul is when it goes negative to the team, when it’s a turnover,” he said. “Like if it’s an offensive foul or if I try to come off somebody’s back and get an offensive rebound. That’s a real bad foul. And if it’s low on the shot clock and I foul a jumpshooter, that’s a bad foul. But if it’s just a hustling foul or I’m going for a loose ball, I don’t think that’s a bad foul.”

Moore admits that part of his foul trouble has come with learning a new system. He is anxious to get adjusted, but knows he has to be patient.

“I’ve got to stop trying so hard,” he said. “KG told me tonight, ‘Just relax and play, man. Stop trying to do everything.’ That’s what I’ve got to start doing.”

Garnett’s advice was echoed by head coach Doc Rivers.

Said Moore, “He said, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day so you’ve got to keep working hard.’”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Mikki Moore,
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