NBA power rankings: Strong week doesn't help Wolves

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Another week of basketball is in the books and the Timberwolves haven't been able to make significant progress in the Western Conference playoff race, or the list of power rankings that were released Monday.

CBS Sports calls the Timberwolves one of the most disappointing teams in the NBA.

CBS SPORTS: No. 12 –��While Minnesota has had one of the league's most brutal schedules, the Wolves' defensive backslide has coincided with a drop-off on offense. They've hung tough in a lot of games vs. elite Western teams, but as the cliché goes, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Only a hand grenade is more accurate than Ricky Rubio's jump shot.

NBA.COM: No. 11 – The Wolves' bench is still a big problem and Kevin Martin is in a slump, shooting 32 percent in December. But when Kevin Love is averaging 31.0 points and 13.5 rebounds and shooting 17-for-29 from 3-point range, as he did over four games last week, they're in pretty good shape. They're doing some serious traveling these days, going from south to east to north to west in a week's time. 

ESPN: No. 10 – If you're a Wolves fan who buys into average nightly point margin as a top-notch predictor of future success, take note that K-Love & Co. are sixth in the West at +3.8. (Then take a look, if you can stand it, how high that would put them in the East's gruesome point-margin standings.)

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: No. 12 – Carrying the Wolves to the playoffs is apparently going to take a superhuman effort from Kevin Love. The big man was up to the task last week, averaging 31 points and 13.5 rebounds to help Minnesota win three of four and get back to .500.

YAHOO! SPORTS: No. 12 – Minnesota has won three of its past four. Kevin Love has averaged 31 points during that stretch, including a 42-point performance against San Antonio.

PRO BASKETBALL TALK: No. 12 – Their run through the rough part of the schedule continues this three of their next four on the road, with opponents including Portland and both Los Angeles teams. Right now Kevin Love is carrying them — will voters give him a bump past Blake Griffin into the final West starting front court slot in the All-Star Game?

The Wolves won three of four games last week and they'll have a chance to stay hot with four games this week. The Wolves play at Boston Monday, host Portland Wednesday and finish with games against the Lakers and Clippers in Los Angeles on Friday and Sunday.

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