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If you can’t beat them – sign them? This seems true to one New England organization. Patriots coach Bill Belichick has built a reputation in the past for signing players who have played well against him and his team, Victor Green, Brian Cox, Sammy Morris, Wes Welker to name a few.
Well, this time around it’s the Boston Celtics who are looking to add a one-time “Celtic Killer.”
Adrian Wojnarowski, of Yahoo! Sports, reports that the Celtics are interested in Chicago Bulls free agent center Brad Miller.
This news comes after Rasheed Wallace announced his plan to retire. With Kendrick Perkins and 2008 second round pick Semih Erden, who plans to join the team after playing in Turkey, the lone centers on the roster, the Celtics are in need of another viable option.
Although Miller is 34 years old, the former Purdue Boilermaker would provide a nice presence off the bench for the Celtics. In 2009, Miller averaged nine points while grabbing five boards per contest. Despite his age, Miller still is one of the better shooting big men in the NBA, something the Celtics lacked all season with Wallace’s struggles.
Miller won’t stretch the floor to the perimeter like Wallace did in the postseason, but Miller brings a more well-rounded game than Wallace and is far more consistent shooting the basketball.
It’s no secret that when Perkins missed the majority of Game 6 and all of Game 7, Doc Rivers and the coaching staff missed Perk’s size. The L.A. Lakers out rebounded the Celtics tremendously with Perkins on the bench, as the size of the Lakers proved to be too much for Boston to overcome. Miller, who played in all 82 games last season, brings size to the Celtics front-court.
The Celtics seem poised to use their mid-level exception on Miller.
In the past, Miller has had some of his best games of his career in Boston. Since playing with the Sacramento Kings in 2003 and up until last year with the Bulls, Miller has averaged 16 points per game along with 9 rebounds against Boston in the regular season. Those stats don’t include a 23-point, 10-rebound performance in Game 6 of the 2008-2009 playoffs, when the Bulls beat the Celtics 128-127 to force a Game 7.
Celtics fans have disliked Miller for a long time, but no one advocates their feelings toward Miller more than former Celtic great and broadcaster Tom Heinsohn. Heinsohn went so far by giving Miller the nickname “Slimy” and added, “Brad Miller is a slime ball.”
Love him or hate him, there’s a realistic possibility that Miller joins the Celtics for the 2010-2011 campaign.