NBA Power Rankings: Wolves on very slippery slope


The Timberwolves (18-19) just can't find a way to consistently contend with the best teams in the Western Conference. After Sunday's 104-86 blowout loss in San Antonio, the Wolves are a rough 7-14 against Western Conference teams.

On top of that, Minnesota is nearing the midway point of the season and they haven't figured out a way to stay above .500. In fact, they've lost nine straight games in which a win would have boosted their record above .500.

The low points are adding up, and they are showcased again in this week's power rankings.

NBA.COM: No. 14 – Last week brought another loss by four points or less (in a game they led by six with less than two minutes to go), two more losses in attempts to get back over .500 and some inevitable tension in the locker room. So the Wolves are 0-10 and 0-9 in those situations respectively and haven't won three straight since their streak to start the season. Friday's visit to Toronto is the next referendum game.

CBS SPORTS: No. 18 – They have to win a close game just by accident at some point, right? Like the ball bounces off Nikola Pekovic's head and falls in the basket? Ricky Rubio tries to shoot and accidentally throws an oop, something?

ESPN: No. 14 – Eight of Minnesota's 18 wins have been by 20 points or more. Yet I'm guessing you've noticed that all the talk about these guys lately has focused on the Wolves' fatal 0-10 record in games decided by five points or fewer ... and how much responsibility Kevin Love should shoulder for that mark.

YAHOO! SPORTS: No. 14 – After averaging 30 points and 13.7 rebounds in December, Kevin Love has averaged 22.2 points and 10.6 rebounds this month.

PRO BASKETBALL TALK: No. 12 – Minnesota is now 0-10 in games decided by 4 or fewer points this season. Some of that is bad luck and things will even out, but some of that is late game execution issues this team needs to resolve. Fast if they have playoff dreams.

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