Not a good week for the Wolves, as they lost to NBA bottomfeeder Sacramento and middling Eastern Conference poser Toronto before rebounding to top another lackluster opponent Saturday, Trey Burke and the Utah Jazz.
A week that a playoff contender would expect to go 3-0 during, Minnesota went 1-2, and their ranking across the basketball world at the midseason mark reflects their mediocre performance through the first half of the 2013-14 year.
NBA.COM: No. 17 - "Took kids suffering from chronic illness to Build-A-Bear."
Not much analysis here, but we can roll with it. Here's a picture of center Nikola Pekovic at Build-A-Bear trying his hand at crafting one of the fluffy companions.
CBS SPORTS: No. 16, up two spots from last week - "They have to win a close game eventually, even by accident. It would help if Ricky Rubio could shoot or Nikola Pekovic could defend the rim. But mostly, it would be nice if their collective head didn't detonate in close games."
ESPN: No. 18, down three spots from last week - "You can probably recite the stat by heart by now: Sota is 0-11 in games decided by four points or fewer compared to 19-10 in all other games. Kevin Love, meanwhile, has been held below 20 points in five of his last six games ... after it happened just five times in the season's first 33 games."
YAHOO! SPORTS: No. 15, down one spot from last week - "Center Nikola Pekovic has averaged 21.6 points and 9.8 rebounds during the past 14 games."
PRO BASKETBALL TALK: No. 13, down one spot from last week - "They have lost six of nine and were reduced to the moral victory of “we played hard at the end of the game” after loss to Toronto. We keep saying “they are better than their record” but at some point Bill Parcells is right — “you are what your record says.""
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: No. 16, down to spots from last week - "Here's one reason for optimism about the Wolves' playoff chances. Here's not one: Minnesota hasn't beaten a winning team in more than a month."
That last stat burns our brains. However, we do like that optimism in the Pek stat by Yahoo! and the strange bump to 16 by CBS Sports. We can guarantee that won't be the case should Minnesota lose to Utah Tuesday, because if they do that, they definitely aren't beating two of the West's best, Portland and Golden State, over the weekend.