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  1. #1081


    Quote Originally Posted by BarnBurner View Post
    24 said Ryan didnt EARN his job.

    C Web said he did EARN it.

    We already know who is right. two for diversion.
    Depends on what you mean by "earn." Ryan certainly didn't have to scratch his way up the ladder like his dad had to. Like young Richard Pitino, Ryan got doors opened to him at much better entry level places because of who he was related to.
    That aside, Ryan still had to work his @$$ off to succeed from where he started. He has earned everything he has by showing he deserves it through the hard work he has put in. The "tell" is in how excited players were for Ryan when they beat OKC. Every player thinks Ryan earned it. Nothing else matters.
    Last edited by MennoSota; 01-11-2019 at 06:22 AM.

  2. #1082
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Reality, USA


    Quote Originally Posted by Sportsfan24 View Post

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Simply pointing out your errors my man. Another enjoyable excercise.

    C web > too four

  3. #1083


    Quote Originally Posted by tikited View Post

    Wow. Jim Pete opens up about Thibs.

    If you didn't understand the hate for Thibs, listen to this.
    Thanks for linking, very interesting interview. You can sense the relief that JP has now that Thibs is gone.

    Howl Wolves!!

  4. #1084


    STrib: Getting Andrew Wiggins off and running is one of Ryan Saunders' key goals with Wolves

    There was music in the air at Timberwolves practice Thursday, and it had been a long time since Andrew Wiggins said he heard tunes in the background a practice.

    “I don’t know. College?” he said.

    With the installation of Ryan Saunders as interim coach for the fired Tom Thibodeau, the Wolves will have some additional accompaniment when they practice and Wiggins got to be in charge of the playlist at Thursday’s session.

    “I told them to play all Drake,” Wiggins said, referencing the rapper/singer and fellow Canadian.

    After Wiggins’ 40-point night in Saunders’ victorious debut Tuesday night at Oklahoma City, the Wolves would have lived with it if he wanted to play nothing but somebody singing the phone book.

    In advance of his first home game as a head coach Friday against Dallas, Saunders stated what every Wolves fan has seen since Wiggins donned an NBA uniform for the first time:

    “We always say an engaged Andrew Wiggins is a very good Andrew Wiggins. So the more we can keep him engaged, especially early in the game when he’s running with everything, the better.”

    Howl Wolves!!

  5. #1085


    Sid: Wolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns' all-around game gets even better

    Coming off last season’s playoff appearance — their first in 14 years — the Timberwolves started this season with high expectations.

    But the season has been filled with drama — Jimmy Butler’s demands, his holdout in training camp and his eventual trade to the 76ers. The drama continued this week with the firing of coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau.

    One positive for the Wolves throughout the season has been the play of forward Karl-Anthony Towns.

    Towns is averaging 22.1 points, 12.3 rebounds, three assists and 1.9 blocks per game. Over the past eight games, Towns is averaging 27.3 points, 16 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.5 blocks per game.

    At Miami on Dec. 30, Towns had 34 points, 18 rebounds, seven assists and six blocked shots. Only one other player in NBA history — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975 — had a game with comparable statistics.

    “Our coaching staff works with me on everything,” Towns said. “It’s always about being as versatile as possible. My game is built on versatility. I really can’t hold myself to just working on one thing, I’ve got to be able to have everything as sharp as possible.”

    The play of Towns, who signed a five-year, $190 million contract before the season, and forward Andrew Wiggins, who signed a five-year, $147.7 million contract extension in October of 2017, are the keys to the Wolves’ return to the playoffs.

    Towns is convinced the team can make the playoffs.

    “Absolutely. I have no doubt about it in my mind that we can do that. Not only eighth seed, even higher,” Towns said. “It’s all about us putting the effort and the energy and bringing that edge every night.”

    Howl Wolves!!

  6. #1086


    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyJamesMD View Post
    I dont like it. He's more of an undersized two guard
    Oops. Wrong forum (or thread)

    My bad! We should have little Wolves and Twins icons in the thread titles to help me out.

  7. #1087


    RandBall: Which Wolves players stand to benefit most under Ryan Saunders?

    Which Wolves players stand to benefit the most — either in playing time, production, or both — from the promotion of Saunders to interim head coach?

    1 Andrew Wiggins: Wiggins seemed unburdened in pouring in 40 points (including 16 of 18 from the line) and grabbing 10 rebounds in what might have been the best game of his NBA career. He had produced some strong games recently before Tom Thibodeau was fired, and he has tended to play well against Oklahoma City in the past, but it’s hard to imagine it was a coincidence that he erupted in the first game under Saunders — a head coach he genuinely seems to like.

    His usage rate — possessions that ended in him taking a shot, getting fouled or turning the ball over — in the game was 37 percent. That’s Russell Westbrook territory, and well above his season average (23.8). Some of that came because of the aforementioned injured players and Towns’ foul trouble, but an involved Wiggins is an active Wiggins. Saunders seems committed to keeping that up.

    2 Tyus Jones: Thibodeau never seemed fully sold on Jones’ skill set, preferring point guards like Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose who can create their own shot and score. The result when all three players were healthy this season was often Teague and Rose playing about 30 minutes while Jones got 15-20 — often with Rose as part of a second unit in which he was sometimes playing off the ball.

    Saunders has more of an analytics background and might appreciate that Jones has the best defensive rating (102.8) of any Wolves regular this season and has a better real plus-minus rating than Teague or Rose. As someone who was there on draft night in 2015 and saw Flip Saunders — Ryan’s dad, of course — embrace Tyus after trading to get him in the first round, I know Flip was a huge fan. Ryan Saunders appears to be a fan, too — and I’ll be curious to see how the playing time is split up Friday night when Rose is expected to be active along with Teague and Jones.

    3 Dario Saric: He’s averaging 23.4 minutes off the bench since coming over in the Jimmy Butler trade, splitting time almost evenly with starter Taj Gibson. He played 25 in Saunders’ coaching debut Tuesday and had 15 points with 7 rebounds and a team-best plus-22 mark. Saric launched six three-pointers (making two), and if Saunders really wants to play faster and shoot more threes, it’s fair to wonder if Saric’s workload and impact will increase.

    4 Josh Okogie: The rookie’s role has fluctuated dramatically based on injuries this year. When everyone was healthy, Thibodeau stuck heavily to a nine-man rotation and Okogie was often an odd man out — playing sparingly or not at all. Saunders seems to be more flexible with his substitutions and rotations and has said he could use 10 guys. It will be interesting to see if he carves out a role for Okogie even with Rose back Friday — and particularly when Covington eventually returns.

    Howl Wolves!!

  8. #1088


    KAT continued his impressive play as of late putting up 27 & 27 vs Anthony Davis as the Wolves win by 4!!

    Howl Wolves!!

  9. #1089


    Souhan: In a fair basketball world, Cheryl Reeve would be Wolves' pick

    Tuesday night, Cheryl Reeve startled at least one family member with her shouts from upstairs at the Reeve family home. She was watching the Timberwolves win at Oklahoma City in Ryan Saunders’ debut as an NBA head coach, and cheering like the fan she is.

    Saunders won his debut, earning high-fives and a celebratory locker room dousing from players who often avoided eye contact with predecessor Tom Thibodeau. Liked and respected throughout the organization, Saunders will be given every opportunity to prove he can handle the job. For an organization that has been able to celebrate few sweet stories over the years, Saunders winning with a roster that his late father helped build would provide perhaps the foremost highlight of the team’s past 15 years.

    Picking from a coaching staff lacking obvious head coaching candidates, Saunders was an easy choice. He has built a rapport with the players, knows where Thibodeau was failing, and gives the Wolves a chance at a rare, seamless transitions.

    In isolation, Saunders’ story is heartwarming. Invoke Reeve’s name and the story becomes less so.

    Compare these résumés:

    Candidate 1: 52-year-old four-time WNBA champion head coach. Two-time WNBA Coach of the Year. Four years as college head coach, improving the team’s winning percentage each year. Nine years as WNBA assistant coach, winning two league titles. Two-time All-Star Game head coach. Currently Lynx general manager as well as head coach. Rhodes Scholar nominee. Key figure in USA Basketball.

    Candidate 2: 32-year-old with no previous head coaching experience. Hired by father to assistant coaching positions with two NBA teams.

    The age of Candidate 2, Saunders, shouldn’t be seen as disqualifying, but his lack of experience would keep him from being a serious head coaching candidate for any other NBA franchise, and possibly for the Wolves if they hadn’t needed to make a midseason change.

    Disclosure: Lynx and Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor owns the Star Tribune. I host a podcast with Reeve — “The Cheryl Reeve Show” on

    Taylor did not respond to a text asking for his thoughts on this column. Reeve said this:

    “I was saying to Ryan that I watched that game against Oklahoma City as if it was Game 7 of a playoff series. That’s how much passion and energy, that was the environment around the game. I think so many people were pulling for Ryan and the guys, myself included.

    “It was an unfortunate situation to be thrown into, for sure. I can’t imagine the emotion that Ryan had. This is a team that Ryan’s father had put together, and to be able to take over the team, I imagine there’s so much excitement, and a level of anxiety, and adrenaline.

    “I watched practice today and he’s just bursting with energy and enthusiasm. He wants the guys to have fun. He wants them to play hard, be accountable for little things, and we’re all pulling for Ryan to finish this season out in a way that lands the Wolves in the playoffs and see what they can do when they get there.”

    Should she be a candidate for the job? “The only thing I’ll say is that I certainly appreciate being thought of, but my mind is solely on Ryan and wanting him to do well, wanting, for Glen Taylor, for this to go well. That’s all I think about. I appreciate being thought of. That’s a sign of what our team has done through the years and I’m grateful for that. But my thoughts are with Ryan.”

    Howl Wolves!!

  10. #1090


    Charley Walters: Wolves should add Randy Wittman to Ryan Saunders’ staff

    With his appointment as head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves last week, Ryan Saunders, 32, became the youngest, albeit interim, head coach in the NBA.

    Randy Wittman, 59, spent 10 seasons as a head coach in the NBA, including three seasons with the Timberwolves. Wittman, who still resides in the Twin Cities, for nine other seasons was an assistant to close pal Flip Saunders with the Wolves and Washington Wizards.

    Wittman has valuable experience. The Wolves have an assistant job available after the firing last week of Andy Greer. The reason Ryan Saunders was hired to replace Tom Thibodeau was that, considering the Wolves’ other assistants, he was the best guy for the job.

    It would seem reasonable for the Timberwolves to bring Wittman back in an advisory capacity for Saunders, who is getting the opportunity of a coaching lifetime.

    It’s likely the hiring of Saunders is a first in the NBA, a head coach whose mother is also an investor of the team. Debbie Saunders, who attends virtually every Target Center game to root for the Wolves, retains a small ownership stake that was part of the deal when late husband Flip became president-coach in 2014. Flip died three years ago at age 60.

    People who know say Fred Hoiberg, 46, the former Wolves assistant general manager fired by the Chicago Bulls last month, would rather coach, if there’s an opportunity, than join a front office.

    Meanwhile, there has been buzz for months that ex-Wolves guard Chauncey Billups, who is an NBA analyst for ESPN, might be interested in returning to Minnesota in a GM capacity. Billups last year declined an offer to become GM of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Tom Thibodeau isn’t bitter about his dismissal by the Timberwolves. In fact, he’s appreciative of the opportunity he had to coach in Minnesota.

    The Wolves confirmed that Thibodeau, who turns 61 this week, has $20 million owed him for the remainder of his contract, which was to expire in 2021. That contract is guaranteed, and the Wolves will fulfill it.

    Decent bet is that Thibodeau, a basketball lifer, eventually ends up with pal Doc Rivers, 57, who is head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers.

    Howl Wolves!!

  11. #1091


    per Shooter:

    Some people wonder whether the firing of Tom Thibodeau could open the door for Rick Pitino, 66, to return to the NBA in the same city as son Richard, 36, the Gophers’ men’s basketball coach.

    In eight NBA seasons coaching the Knicks and Celtics, Rick’s record was 192-220. He’s now coaching the Panathinaikos pro team in Greece. As a college coach at Hawaii, Boston University, Providence, Kentucky and Louisville, Pitino’s record was 770-271 and included two NCAA championships.

    Look for Ryan Saunders as coach of the Timberwolves to allow more playing time for point guard Tyus Jones, 22, who can become a restricted free agent next season.

    Saunders, by the way, will receive a nice salary increase.

    Howl Wolves!!

  12. #1092


    Howl Wolves!!

  13. #1093


    Quote Originally Posted by BleedGopher View Post
    The Wolves never shot more than 35 3-pointers in a game during Tom Thibodeau's first two season coaching the Wolves.They took 39 tonight.Also: career-high points for Josh Okogie (17) and career-high rebounds for Karl-Anthony Towns (27)Wolves win 110-106— Dane Moore (@DaneMooreNBA) January 13, 2019

    Howl Wolves!!
    Wolves shot 28% from 3. Not exactly stellar. They were lucky the Pelicans only shot 20% from 3. If you're going to shoot more 3s, ya better have players who can make them.
    Okogie, 1-8 from 3.

  14. #1094


    Quote Originally Posted by MennoSota View Post
    Wolves shot 28% from 3. Not exactly stellar. They were lucky the Pelicans only shot 20% from 3. If you're going to shoot more 3s, ya better have players who can make them.
    Okogie, 1-8 from 3.
    Those percentages will improve. They players are now encourage to fire away, all of them, that can be liberating to a player. I expect Saric to benefit the most. Also, we played good permimeter defense when we had to against the Pelicans, another team fighting like mad to stay in the playoffs.

    I am encouraged.

  15. #1095
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Right behind you


    Quote Originally Posted by Rouser View Post
    Those percentages will improve. They players are now encourage to fire away, all of them, that can be liberating to a player. I expect Saric to benefit the most. Also, we played good permimeter defense when we had to against the Pelicans, another team fighting like mad to stay in the playoffs.

    I am encouraged.
    Yep, they need to see if they can be a 3pt team. If they can get Wiggins to stop shooting long 2's and replace them with 3's...the future could be bright with him. Sounds like Saunders is already taking steps with that.
    Aloha Mr. Hand

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