Knight Errant

Former Timberwolves coach, Tom Thibodeau, replaced easily

Brendan Amaris thinks that the Timberwolves have had a problem with coaching administration, even if said coaching gets them to the playoffs.

Brendan Amaris, Staff Writer

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The Minnesota Timberwolves finally fired Tom Thibodeau, head coach and president of basketball operations. Thibs’ run as coach and president was ended January 6th after less than 3 years at the helm. The fact is Thibodeau’s methods were outdated compared to the modern standard of today’s NBA. The interim head coach until the end of the season was appointed hours later, it was decided that then-assistant coach Ryan Saunders — son of the late Flip Saunders who coached the wolves for many seasons — would step in as head coach until the end of the season.

Keith Allison, via Flickr, Creative Commons
Thibodeau’s “old-fashioned” style of play was obviously lagging behind the rest of the NBA that has adapted to the new fast-paced 3-point shooting modern style of play.

The front office’s decision to fire Thibs was foreseen by many as the Timberwolves were struggling to keep up with the many high tempo offenses in today’s league. Flatout chaos was evolving in the locker room. With the Jimmy Butler situation over, many people thought that the Wolves could turn the corner and leave that behind them, but with Andrew Wiggins calling out the fans, (rightfully so, but he did it in the wrong way) and the wolves generally struggling to string together a few wins, Tom Thibodeau had to go.

Thibodeau’s “old-fashioned” style of play was obviously lagging behind the rest of the NBA that has adapted to the new fast-paced 3 point shooting modern style of play. Yes, Thibs is a great defensive coach, but he doesn’t inspire his players. His decisions when it comes to his lineup was questionable too. Time and time again Derrick Rose would simply outperform Jeff Teague, but Thibs still opted to give Teague the starting spot. He put far too much trust in Andrew Wiggins who has not played up to his contract at all. And he didn’t give Josh Okogie the playing time he deserved.

The interim head coach (Ryan Saunders) is a great decision and may even be fit for the permanent job. He was already on the staff and knows the players well. He also is a fan favorite because of his story and his attitude. The players are already familiar with him and they seem to love him — as we saw after his first win in Oklahoma City.

Thibs did what hadn’t been done in over a decade for Wolves fans, which was bring them to the playoffs. But he just wasn’t the right guy in the long term. Ryan Saunders is exciting has a lot of potential to take this young squad a long way. He will just need the fans to stand behind him and his players to show they truly want to win and be successful, then winning over 50 games is inevitable.

 

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Former Timberwolves coach, Tom Thibodeau, replaced easily