Don Nelson on Randolph’s scattered playing time: “Let me coach my team”
POSTED BY TIM KAWAKAMI ON JANUARY 7TH, 2009 AT 10:54 PM
Short lead-in tonight, ’cause I already wrote a column (Warriors management doesn’t deserve these loyal, passionate fans) and I am getting out of here…
The Warriors played well, just like they have at home for the last few weeks, but got out-gunned in the fourth quarter by the Lakers at Oracle tonight. Short notes:
-The Lakers were on a back-to-back and were without Lamar Odom and Luke Walton.
-The Warriors were without Stephen Jackson and without Brandan Wright after he partially dislocated his left shoulder in the second quarter.
-That put Anthony Randolph in the game, and he was good. Made 4 of his 6 shots in 14 minutes, got 2 rebounds, had one blocked shot and was a strong presence in there–with a few trademark wacky offensive moments.
So of course we had to ask Don Nelson about Randolph–who did not play in the team’s last four games, all by Nelson’s decision.
For once, it wasn’t me who got Nelson riled. It was all Lowell C. But oh yes, Nelson got riled, lots of pent-up frustration about hearing, for years now, that he screws around with young big men and tries to make them fail.
With Randolph being the 2008-2009 example. When Randolph plays like he did tonight, it does make you wonder why he can’t get 5 to 10 minutes every night.
So… the response.
—–DON NELSON, post-game press conference/
-Opening statement: Well, I have no problems with the way we played. Thought we followed our gameplan pretty well. We made some errors, but we played pretty well for a long period of time.
I kind of got the sense that they were just toying around with us, until they wanted to tighten the screws. But that’s not so, sometimes. That can backfire.
They were on a back-to-back and we understand how that is. But we played pretty well. I’ve got no problems when we compete like that.
-Q: How did Anthony Randolph play?
-NELSON: Very well.
-Q: Before the game you talked about him not being NBA-ready. Didn’t he look ready tonight?
-NELSON: Yeah, he did very well tonight.
-Q: Does that mean he might do well other nights?
-NELSON: Look it, I think what you guys need to do is just let me coach my team. Let me bring these guys along the way I see fit. That’s what they hired me for. And stop worrying about a 19-year-old kid.
Because you know what? It’s not good for him, either. Because he takes things for granted and he’s got to work his way in. He’s got work to do. He played well tonight. This is the way we expect him to play. This is the way we hope that he plays.
He’s been practicing like this for three days. And we’re going to take it and go with it. OK?
But he did very well. I’m proud of him.
Nobody’s rooting against this guy. We’re rooting for him. We want him to do well. But he needs to be coached, and we’re doing that.
-Q: You took him out with about 7 minutes left. Did you just feel you got enough out of him?
-NELSON: Yeah. It was time to try something else and I don’t know that he’s ready to close a game yet. But if he plays hard like that and does what he’s supposed to do, he can definitely play some minutes in a game.
But these aren’t the first minutes he’s played, either, by the way.
-Q: What was happening that Gasol was getting to the rim so easily?
-NELSON: Look, they’re a tough cover. The whole team. You have to help on Kobe a lot. And they have a lot of weapons. And he was a guy that was a recipient of some of that. And other than that, he’s got skills. So when they want to go to him, which they did a lot tonight, he was able to have his way with our power forward and our centers as well. So it was a mismatch there and they took advantage of it.
http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2 ... h-my-team/