NBA Power Rankings: Wolves heating up at the right time?


Kevin Love might be playing at an MVP level, but he's unlikely to receive any thought for the award if the Timberwolves don't make a run at the playoffs. They've jumped up with four wins in five games since the All-Star break, and a win over the Nuggets tonight will put them above .500 for the first time since Nov. 23.

While they still have work to do to get into the playoff conversation, they've turned some heads with some great play of late. Here's this week's power rankings recap.

NBA.COM: No. 15 – The Wolves aren't dead yet. Playing some of their best defense of the season and with Kevin Love putting up ridiculous numbers (including four games of seven or more assists), they've won five of their last six to get back to .500. Now, they play five of their next seven against teams (Denver, New York, Detroit, Milwaukee and Sacramento) who are a combined 7-27 since the All-Star break. 

ESPN: No. 16 – If the banged-up Wolves have a move left to make in the West, they better make it now. Six of Sota's next seven games are against non-playoff teams. The stats, meanwhile, say Kevin Love has more gas in his fourth-quarter tank than he did earlier in the season ... even without Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin.

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: No. 16 – Here come the Wolves! Kevin Love and Co. have won five of six and sit 5½ games behind Dallas for the eighth seed in the West. Now is the time to make a move: Minnesota plays six of its next seven games against losing teams and begins a four-game homestand Wednesday against New York.

CBS SPORTS: No. 15 – They're the guys who show up to browse at a store five minutes before it closes. It might be too late, but they're still shopping for that playoff spot.

FOX SPORTS: No. 16 – There are a multitude of reasons why Kevin Love should win MVP and one giant reason why he should not. The Wolves' superstar has a stacked stat line (26.6 points, 13.5 rebounds per game), but Minnesota's losing record overshadows it all. Love can win in Minnesota eventually, but like all other great players, he'll need stars beside him.

YAHOO SPORTS: No. 15 – Minnesota can move above the .500 mark with win at Denver on Monday.

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