I Expected Moore Out of Mikki

Jay KingCorrespondent IMay 23, 2009

BOSTON - APRIL 28:  Mikki Moore #7 of the Boston Celtics tries to rally the fans against the Chicago Bulls in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at TD Banknorth Garden on April 28, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Chicago Bulls 106-104 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
I think we all expected Mikki to give the Celtics a little Moore than he did. The Mikki Moore I remembered the most was the New Jersey Nets' Mikki Moore from a few years ago. In those days, Mikki was a long, active big man.

He started 55 games that year, averaging 9.8 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting a tremendous 61 percent from the field.

Whenever the Celtics played the Nets, Mikki was a thorn in the Celtics' side, finishing well at the rim and demonstrating a surprisingly effective mid-range jumpshot on offense and disrupting plays defensively with his length and mobility.
So I was excited when the Celtics signed Mikki after the Kings bought out his contract. I knew he hadn't played much for the Kings this year, but I figured it was because they were rebuilding and would rather develop their young players than play their proven veterans.

I thought Mikki would add length and height to a Celtics' frontcourt, providing a 7 footer on a team that desperately needed it. I envisioned Mikki backing up KG, bringing that same type of mobility and versatility (though obviously not to the same extent) KG brings to the defense.

Offensively, I thought Mikki would score in the ways he has always scored; mid-range jumpers and hustle plays at the rim.
Instead, Mikki Moore fouled. In less than 20 minutes a game for the Celtics, Mikki averaged more than four fouls. It became a running bet among my friends to determine how long it would take for Mikki to get his first foul, whether Mikki would get his fourth foul in the first or second half, and, of course, whether Mikki would foul out.

Fouls were pretty much the only thing Mikki provided for the Celtics. He played little to no defense and gave us very little offensively. Rebounding? Let's just say that wasn't his strong suit, either.
Yeah, Mikki did have certain redeeming qualities. He never disrupted the team, even though his playing time dwindled to nothing in the playoffs. Moore always maintained a positive attitude, and was often the loudest, most intense guy on the bench (OK, maybe not most intense, but when KG's around, who else could be?).

He seemed to be a great character guy, a solid person to have around a team, but he never seemed to gain Doc's trust, and his play was never worthy of earning more minutes.
Watching the Cleveland Cavaliers, I can't help but wonder if the Celtics would still be playing had they signed Joe Smith rather than Mikki Moore.

I can understand why the Celtics didn't make a run at Smith; his contract didn't get bought out until the 11th hour, and the Celtics couldn't afford to wait around for a guy who may or may not get bought out.

Nonetheless, Smith would have been a huge upgrade over the likes of Moore and Scalabrine. In retrospect, signing Moore added more or less nothing to our team. Waiting would have been a better option, even if we didn't end up signing anybody.

Signing Moore was just one of the ways Danny Ainge botched his attempts to improve our squad from last year (Patrick O'Bryant over Chris "Birdman" Anderson was probably his worst), and I don't think we will nor should resign Moore this summer.

We should be looking to move on from the Mikki Moore era. Thanks for the great attitude, Mikki, but you weren't much of a player for us. Good luck next year, wherever you wind up.