Domejandro wrote:Good hire for Minnesota, but I have a relatively scathing opinion of the people scapegoating Coach Saunders. Just unnuanced takes, but people on the Minnesota board have already heard me explain that on numerous occasions.
The hire will absolutely improve the team, so that's cool, I just wish people would actually look at the unwinnable circumstances Minnesota has endured over the past two seasons.
Wish Ryan the best, he will get another opportunity in half a decade or so; beyond being a good guy, he has the capacity of being a solid coach, in less absurd circumstances.
What are the absurd circumstances? I know your owner is horrible - do you think KAT needs to be moved potentially and just start over?
The Timberwolves have never had anything remotely close to a healthy team under the Saunders era. For example, Towns has missed the majority of the last 2 seasons with injuries like getting hit by a drunk driver (and almost dying), covid, 7 of his family members dying, and falling on his wrist. D lo has now been injured most of this season and will miss 80% of this year. It's been over a year since the trade happened and Towns and D lo have played a total of 90 minutes together. The Wolves will likely start next season over a year and half post-trade and have the two players they wanted to try to build around have 90 total minutes. The year before the Wolves second best player, Covington, was out for the whole season basically with a freak injury.
The Wolves last season had one of the worst rosters to begin the season in the league (just go look at the depth chart to begin the season). The Wolves added a decent amount of talent with the D lo and Beasley trade to actually have a roster fit their system, but then Towns went down and a week or two later covid hit. The Wolves missed the bubble... all of their players had like 10 months off from organized basketball because of the bubble and everything that followed with COVID, followed by a shortened training camp, followed by more injuries to the Wolves best players.
The Wolves are also the youngest team in the league. It's almost impossible to succeed with an extremely young team, a lack of quality rotation players (not his fault), constant injuries to the teams best 2 or 3 players that the system is around, and a lack of ability to practice as a team for 10+ months.
I don't think Saunders was the solution and he made a number of mistakes (mostly just compounding execution issues from the reasons above in the 4th quarter and late game situations), but it's not hard to see he kinda had one of the worst year and a half stretches for a coach that you could have.