NBA Power Rankings: How low can the Wolves go?


All of a sudden the Timberwolves are starting to resemble the injury-prone bunch that struggled to reach a mediocre 31 wins last season.

Kevin Love has missed two of the last three games, Kevin Martin has a broken thumb and Nikola Pekovic has missed seven straight games with bursitis in his ankle. The absence of one, two or even all three last week was evident as the Wolves lost 3 of 4 games. Overall, Minnesota is driving in the wrong direction as they enter the All-Star break.

The latest power rankings have the Wolves as low as they've been all season.

NBA.COM: No. 17 – The Wolves have lost five of their last six, though they hung around with both the Thunder and Blazers without Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic (and Kevin Martin in the Portland game). Love's absence has forced Ricky Rubio to be more aggressive. He had double-digit field goal attempts in three straight games for the first time this season, though he was just 7-for-18 in the restricted area. 

ESPN: No. 18 – The rumbles have already started, as captured byPortland's seen-it-all Kerry Eggers, that Rick Adelman could walk away at season's end. Kevin Martin's injury isn't going to help the Wolves slice into the whopping six-game deficit they suddenly face just to move into the West's last playoff spot.

PRO BASKETBALL TALK: No. 18 – They have dropped five of six and the reason is injuries — Nikola Pekovic is out, Kevin Martin is out and the Wolves are just banged up. The All-Star break couldn’t come at a better time for them.

FOX SPORTS: No. 15 – If you had to bet a month's salary on whether or not the Timberwolves would crack the postseason, the smart money says no. Minnesota is just 4.0 games behind the current eight-seed Mavs, but there are too many teams between them and the postseason. The field for the bottom three spots also includes the: Suns, Warriors, Mavericks, Grizzlies and Nuggets. Already behind, it's hard to imagine the Wolves will be one of the top-three teams out of that group.

CBS SPORTS: No. 16 – Something's gotta go right for Minnesota sometime, right? I'd call an exorcist but I'm afraid he or she would wind up banishing Nikola Pekovic somewhere.

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: No. 20 – The Wolves went 8-7 in January after yielding only 99.2 points per game, but their defense is currently offering less resistance than a cotton shirt in the dead of winter. They're surrendering 108 points during a 1-4 start to February.

YAHOO! SPORTS: No. 17 – While the Wolves' brass is doing their due diligence, they are more worried about improving the defense than making a trade deadline move.

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