Kevin Garnett is a bona-fide MVP contender, Malik Sealy has stepped up his game to unforeseen levels, Wally Szczerbiak is proving he has NBA-caliber mettle, and Terrell Brandon has shaken the ghost of Marbury past. But credit for the Minnesota Timberwolves' best-ever season belongs to Flip Saunders. For one thing, this guy really wants to win, an attitude he instills in his staff and his players. He and Wolves GM Kevin McHale understand the importance of developing and retaining a core team, one that's designed to play together. Saunders also recognizes the need for depth on and off the bench, and he isn't timid about sending in Joe Smith or the often unpredictable Bobby Jackson to cause havoc when the starters need a break. Finally, the man is a class act, and his influence shows: no thugs on this team, no antics off the court. Better things are in store for this ballclub, and for that we have Saunders to thank.


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