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Morning Roundup: Timberwolves fire Tom Thibodeau

Morning Roundup: Timberwolves fire Tom Thibodeau

The timing of the move is surprising, given the Wolves are in the middle of a playoff race and fresh off a pair of home wins.

"I definitely did not expect to be standing here", said Saunders after paying his respects to Thibodeau, who made him his assistant.

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Thibodeau finishes with a record of 97-107 in his two-plus seasons in Minnesota. "I guess Taylor did not like the direction things were heading and decided to make a change now". Ryan Saunders will be stepping in as coach on an interim basis. "I think everyone knows this is special... for a number of reasons". Thibodeau's trademark hard nose coaching style and tendency to play starters extensive minutes eroded his relationship with both players and Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. It's already been a whirlwind of a season thanks to Sunday's firing of Thibodeau and the Jimmy Butler trade on November 12.

Saunders said he hasn't given any thought to changing the starting lineup or rotations or even adding an assistant, instead focusing exclusively on making a smooth transition to head coach and making his players' lives easier. This is his first head coaching job.

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Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns said Monday that "no one saw it coming" when asked about the firing of coach and team president Tom Thibodeau the day before. "Yeah, we're ready to go". "And I think in looking over the staff, we thought Ryan was the most qualified person to take over and probably would have the brightest future with us". That also seems to be Taylor's preference. "That will be something we will decide at the end of the year".

"The results are that I don't think we should've lost against Phoenix or Detroit or New Orleans or Atlanta", Taylor said.

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