After practice Tuesday, Nellie had to know the media would grill him about his post-game comments regarding Andris Biedrins, in which he said he was “tired” of Biedrins being lifeless and that this wasn’t the first time “the light wasn’t on at home.” Not only did Nellie know, he was ready to elaborate.
It was worse for Biedrins the second time around.
On whether his comments lit a fire under Biedrins:
“I hope so. He needs to light his own fire. We play every other day. You can’t light the fire for him every game. So that’s up to him. Give us something. I mean, rebounding is one part of the game. You need more than that. Good defensive presence. The running skills. Good pick-setting. Good passing. We need a lot of things from our 5s other than rebounding.”
On the biggest difference between Biedrins’ double-double days and now:
“A lack of aggressiveness. Running out of his scoring areas without being aggressive to catch and score.”
On why that is:
“I think it has to do with his free-throw shooting. I told him today that if I were him, I would be wanting to shoot free throws so I’m not the all-time worst free-throw shooter in the history of the NBA. If he could get to the free-throw line and even make five or six out of 10, at least it would be an improvement. I would be looking to get fouled, and I think he’s looking not to get fouled.”
On getting a shot doctor to work with his free-throw touch:
“I’ve worked with him. I’ve had everybody work with him. He’s locked in to . . . he doesn’t want to go underhanded, and his over-handed shot is basically broken. He’s never going to be a very good free-throw shooter because of his technique. It’s unfixable. You can’t fix the problems that he has. To me, I would go underhand. We brought George Johnson in here (to teach Biedrins how to shoot underhand free throws), and he decided not to do that. I tried the one-handed free throw with him, but that doesn’t work because his technique is, he doesn’t keep his hand on a platter, which all great shooters do. He tilts it, so if I have him shoot one-handed, the ball’s going to slip off, so there are major problems with his technique, and he’s not willing to change.”
On how Nelson could question a player’s passion when fans have questioned his own:
“My fuse is lit every morning when I get up. I’m very passionate about what I do and how I do it. The way that I choose to do it now is to let my assistants do a lot of work at practices and I coach the games, but the players still have to light their own fire. I can’t do that for them every game. I’ve bent over backwards with Goose trying to be positive. Whatever he’s going through, he’s not the same player this year as the last couple — or the same player that got him the big contract. Whatever that is, he’s got to get the passion back. I can’t do that.”
On why there are fewer pick-and-roles involving Biedrins:
“He doesn’t really have an inside game that you could go to. When I’ve tried to go to it to get his confidence up, he hasn’t delivered. His shot’s not there. There’s a way to be involved in a screen and role, and there’s a way to hide and not be involved. I think he chooses to hide at this point. We’re trying to demand that he get the ball and do things with it and be aggressive.”