By: Alexandra Rimbu
The MN Timberwolves lost to the New York Knicks on Sunday, Feb 21, reaching a league-worst of 7-24 this season. This loss was ultimately what caused management to fire head coach Ryan Saunders, whose replacement, Chris Finch, was named shortly after on Monday.
Saunders’s association with the Timberwolves first began in 2019 when he took an assistant job and was later named interim coach after the firing of Tom Thibodeau. Next season, he took on the job permanently, and at age 33, he became the youngest head coach in the league.
The Timberwolves went 43-94 under Saunders, in a little less than two full seasons. They finished with the third-worst record in the league last season and had the worst record so far before his firing.
CBS Sports claimed that Saunders was stuck in “an impossible situation” on some level. They went on to state there was almost “total roster upheaval during his tenure” and that more games were “lost to injury” than you could have counted. And, of course, the absence of star player Karl-Anthony Towns from a majority of the games did not help the situation.
However, with results like that, the coaching change came as no surprise. Finch was a frontrunner for numerous jobs this offseason, and Rosas, the Timberwolves president, said “Chris brings a wealth of basketball experience from his time in the NBA, G League and Internationally. He is one of the most creative basketball minds in the NBA, has success maximizing players, and I am excited to see him bring our team to the next level and beyond.”
The future looks promising for the Timberwolves, and we’ll have to see if Finch lives up to everybody’s expectations.
Editor’s Note: Since this writing, the Timberwolves have yet to get their 1st win under coach Finch.