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Don Nelson says he has coached the hands dealt him

Apr 12, 2010, 2:27 PM EDT

Don Nelson is Mr. Small Ball. Right? He wants to go small and just run you into the ground. Defense is sort of an afterthought. That’s the system he wants to play. Right.

That’s not what he said on KHTK in Sacramento recently.

You have got to play the hand that you are dealt.  If you just have players that don’t have abilities or desires to play defense, you have got to figure out a way to win wherever you are so that is kind of where we have been.  We are not a terrible defensive team.  We are just not as good as most.  Usually if you are going to anchor your team on defense you have got to have some sort of presence inside, some sort of a shot blocker or a presence of size inside.  You know I have been having small, small teams for a long time.”

One could argue that it is the coach’s job to motivate and scheme for his team to play good defense, regardless of what the players want. But I’m not that one. I’m not going to argue with the NBA’s all-time winningest coach.

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