In his first home game as Timberwolves interim coach Ryan Saunders went out to line up for “The Star Spangled Banner,” his mother, wife and three sisters standing just a few feet away in the stands.
Saunders took his usual place to assistant coach Ed Pinckney’s left, and Pinckney gently ushered him over to his right. That is where the head coach stands.
It was a night of adjustments for Saunders and the Timberwolves in a 119-115 loss to the Dallas Mavericks that shows just how much of a process this is going to be as the team shifts from Tom Thibodeau’s approach to that of Saunders.
One of Saunders’ first changes as he has taken over is to lengthen the rotation from nine players under Thibodeau to 10. He also wants to hold Derrick Rose to about 30 minutes per night.
That means that Saunders is deploying some lineups that have rarely been seen this season, including rolling out Taj Gibson and Dario Saric together for a…