Hello darkness my old friend. The Timberwolves are still causing me a lot of sadness. Really, nothing has changed, and nothing ever will change. Let’s talk about if it’s time to move on from Ryan Saunders.Last time we talked, the Wolves suffered a sad loss to the Grizzlies. You would think things couldn’t have got any more painful after that? Well they did, inevitably. It’s just the Wolves WayTM to keep on digging a deeper hole than you could even imagine possible.
So here we are. The Timberwolves are 4-12 as of January 26th. And not even the fun 4-12 where we look good and promising for the future. No, no, it’s the dour 4-12 where every night looks worse than the night before. Where do we go from here? What do we talk about?One thing that’s been discussed a bit and I think should be talked about more; should Ryan Saunders’ seat be hotter? Is it really his fault that we aren’t succeeding? Is it simply time for us to move on from him? These are all perfectly fair questions right now, whether you think he should or should not be be fired, I think these need to be discussed.
THE CASE FOR RYAN SAUNDERS
Well Ryan was kind of thrown into a dumpster fire. Was that dumpster fire the situation the Wolves were in at the time after trading away Jimmy Butler? Or was the dumpster fire just being the head coach this team? I truly can’t answer that, both situations are bad. Ryan has had players coming in, coming out and there hasn’t really been anything stable here since he got the job. I don’t have much to say about why Ryan should keep the job besides the fact that he hasn’t really had much good here to work with. In that sense it’s truly hard to blame him. Like if he was coaching the Lakers do you think he could handle his own and the Lakers would still be the Lakers they are right now? I would like to think so, but that’s not the situation here sadly.Here’s a little article from Kurt Helin about Glen Taylor saying the Wolves aren’t even thinking about firing Ryan. Whether you agree or not, it is a good read.
There has just been so much constant change while he’s been here. From front office, to the players, pretty much everything. He has had his hands full with not having KAT for most of the year and it’s hard in my eyes to solely put the blame on him for now. Hell, the players seem to like him but winning is what matters. It’s fair to give him maybe the rest of the year, but I would think if things don’t turn around at least slightly, it will be hard for him to keep the job.
THE CASE AGAINST RYAN SAUNDERS
It’s truly hard in my eyes to find good reason to keep Ryan (besides his great fashion sense). He has had his hands full and just constant change but man he has had his fair share of just truly awful collapses in games. His failure to ever really adjust in my opinion is pretty obvious too. Some of these games he just makes very questionable decisions. I believe the other night we forced 20+ turnovers and still lost, like how? Now, Ryan isn’t the one out there playing but that doesn’t matter. He’s the guy in charge, he needs to be better on almost all fronts.
The one thing that truly makes me a little irritated is how Ryan was kind of just handed the job. Now I know that’s not his fault but still, he didn’t really deserve it in my opinion and he hasn’t done enough to keep the job.Now this is a whole different story, but fuck Glen Taylor. This team will not be good until he’s gone. He just hands Ryan the job because he’s Flips son (RIP) and you know Glen loves in-house guys or anyone with a connection. That’s so fucking annoying, this isn’t just your regular family job, it’s the damn NBA. Why are we making decisions based off connections? Hire the best coach there is! Now we did hire Thibs, but I don’t even want to get into that disaster.
A tweet from Jake Paynting from Canishoopus sums it up perfectly. Ryan just doesn’t adjust and when he does it seems to be so questionable. There have been multiple times this year where something is working and he completely goes away from it and immediate disaster occurs. Can’t really be surprised when you are doing that, it is hard to make a case for him when he is making decisions like this almost nightly.
Regardless of the revolving doors of players, Ryan just hadn’t adjusted and made changes. It’s hard to see Ryan as the long term answer. So why not try to find the long term answer now? It’s time to decide. Do the players want the guy they want, or do they want to win? It’s a tough decision but something has to change and that starts with the coach.
WHAT THE HELL DO WE DO WITH RYAN SAUNDERS?
The Timberwolves have had plenty of pathetic moments in their history, but right now is just truly a sad time for Wolves when it really shouldn’t be. What direction is this team going? Are we trying to win now with KAT entering his prime years or are we rebuilding for the future? It’s getting pretty dicey and it wouldn’t surprise me to see KAT maybe want out in the next year to two if things don’t change. It makes me sad to think about, but it’s reality.
The Wolves need to do something, whether that be firing Ryan or not. Something has to give. If I had to pull the trigger on a decision right now….. I would say move on from him, I don’t see him as the answer. It’s really an awful situation. Prayers up to Wolves fans everywhere.
10K sports writer that specializes in Timberwolves content. Lover of pizza, disc golf and having the Timberwolves forever make me sad.