Jones has high praise for new coach Saunders

Virginia Santiago
January 11, 2019

"You really don't get much sleep, getting thrown into this thing", Saunders said Tuesday morning, January 8, at the Timberwolves' shootaround.

Young received a big compliment when the game ended, as 12-time All-Star Dwyane Wade, who is retiring after the season, took his jersey off at halfcourt and made a swap with the Atlanta rookie.

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While the timing of the decision is confusing given Minnesota just won a lopsided 108-86 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers earlier in the day, it has been a long time coming.

Thibodeau entered the season on the hot seat, which is why he was desperately trying to keep Jimmy Butler rather than trade him. But the Wolves have stayed in the playoff hunt despite the chaos and the recent injuries of Derek Rose and Robert Covington, positioning themselves for a run at the postseason in the second half of the season. Hoiberg was recently fired by the Chicago Bulls and was in Minnesota as a player from 2003-05.

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Karl-Anthony Towns and the Timberwolves will be playing for interim coach Ryan Saunders presumably for the rest of the season. "And I think in looking over the staff, we thought Ryan was the most qualified person to take over and probably would have the brightest future with us". Everyone believes in him, respects him, trusts him. "We're going to play extremely hard". Towns said he was not given a clear explanation as to why. Now making his own calls and taking his own shots, Saunders hopes to bring a new energy to the team while keeping some old concepts.

Saunders, the son of the late Flip Saunders, is getting his first shot at a head coaching job - and he noted during his introductory press conference that he did not expect it to come this soon.

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