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D’Angelo Russell worries for Ryan Saunders after heartbreaker vs. Magic

D'Angelo Russell Ryan Saunders Timberwolves

A lot of pundits feel that Ryan Saunders could be on the hot seat as the team limps through their 2020-21 campaign. This especially after the Minnesota Timberwolves lost a heartbreaker to the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, 97-96.

Cole Anthony broke Wolves fans’ hearts with this shot, which dealt another back-breaking loss to a struggling Timberwolves side:

 

After the game, T’Wolves starting point guard D’Angelo Russell revealed he felt the 34-year-old tactician might be getting more blame than he deserves for their struggles.

 

The blame for the Timberwolves’ rough start shouldn’t solely fall on Ryan Saunders’ shoulders, considering the tough luck they had so far. It’s hard to build any sort of chemistry when players are going in and out of the lineup due to injuries and testing positive to COVID-19. Minny’s best player Karl Anthony-Towns has only played four games so far after experiencing both setbacks.

The Wolves (3-10) dropped to dead last in the Western Conference following that buzzer-beating shot from Magic guard Cole Anthony. They have now lost nine of their last 10 games, which is quite the letdown considering they began the season at 2-0. Ryan Saunders, the son of Wolves coaching legend Flip Saunders, has been praised around the league for his player development skills back when he still starting out as an assistant.

Minny eventually made him the youngest head coach in NBA by giving him the position full time, after serving as interim head coach upon Tom Thibodeau’s firing. As great of a fit he has been to the Wolves’ young core, the Wolves’ putrid record under his watch is indeed alarming.

D’Angelo Russell played hard for his coach versus the Magic, tallying 19 points, six assists, two rebounds, and two steals in 32 minutes. But Jarred Vanderbilt’s two missed free throws in the end, cost them the game and ultimately — could cost Ryan Saunders his job.