Magic beat Minnesota Timberwolves 97-96: Instant Reactions

The Minnesota Timberwolves lost to the Orlando Magic on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Cole Anthony on Wednesday night.

Orlando Magic
Minnesota Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves have to make a change. While this loss may not be attributed to the coach entirely, Ryan Saunders has had nothing short of a disastrous start to the 2020-21 campaign.

Saunders’s rotations are inefficient, and he fails to make the adjustments that are necessary in order to win games. The Timberwolves are 1-5 while leading in the fourth quarter – and that is more than unacceptable.

While, yes, the Timberwolves have been missing their best player for the majority of the season, that does not excuse the coaching malpractice that has transpired over the first 13 games.

It’s the simple things – like not calling a timeout to avoid one of your only poor free-throw shooters from taking two shots in the final 30-seconds of a one-possession game. Or failing to maximize many of the most talented players on the roster, despite showing a willingness to in the past.

More specifically to the Magic-Wolves game tonight, the team blew an eight-point lead with less than three minutes left. Minnesota had greater than a 75-percent chance to win the game for more than two and a half quarters of basketball.

While Ryan Saunders is, in all likelihood, going to continue to be the Timberwolves’ coach for the foreseeable future, he is absolutely on the hot seat following his catastrophic start this season. That’s not to say that anyone in the past was necessarily the answer, but it does not look like that particular answer is currently on the payroll at the moment.

Looking forward, the Timberwolves go up against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, January 22nd, at 7:00 PM CT. The Hawks, 7-7, are currently sitting in the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. Minnesota is in last place in the Western Conference with a 3-10 record.