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Too many whistles while he works

‘€œFoul on number seven, Mikki Moore [1].’€

Those words have become all too familiar since Moore joined the Boston Celtics [2] in February.

Moore has fouled out of the last two games, including Wednesday night’s overtime win against the Miami Heat [3]. (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 [4])

‘€œI’m playing aggressive, trying to do the right thing, and most of my calls are just touch fouls,’€  Moore said after the game.  ‘€œThat’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.

‘€œA bad foul is when it goes negative to the team, when it’s a turnover,’€ he said. ‘€œLike 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.

‘€œI’ve got to stop trying so hard,’€ he said. ‘€œKG 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 [5].

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