NBA power rankings: Wolves take a plunge

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It was a dismal week for the Wolves, failing the only two majors tests they came up against by losing to Western Conference powers Houston and the LA Clippers.

The West is 44-17 against the East this year, but Minnesota could salvage only a split against the inferior conference, losing to Washington before besting Brooklyn at home Friday in their other two contests of the week.

Across the web, national pundits understandably lack positivity for the Wolves after a poor week.

CBS SPORTS: Down four spots to No. 9 - "Mostly a drop based on schedule. Had two ceiling-defining losses (Rockets, Clippers), and one bad-game-against-a-weak-opponent loss to Washington. Defensive slippage is the concern."

YAHOO! SPORTS: Down two spots to No. 9 - "The T'wolves' fast start has cooled after three losses in their past four games. A loss to the Pacers on Monday would drop them to .500."

FOX SPORTS: Down four spots to No. 11 - "The funny thing about expectations is how quickly they can change. The Wolves were regarded as an easy target throughout last season, but health and a strong start swiftly created a new standard. Now, if Minnesota wants to maintain the new respect, it needs to learn how to beat bad teams. Three of the Wolves' five losses are against losing teams."

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: Down two spots to No. 10 - "The advanced stats say the Wolves are elite, but their 0-4 record against the Clippers, Rockets and Warriors suggests they're good, not great. Showdowns with the top four teams in these rankings the next two weeks will test Minnesota's mettle."

NBA.COM: Down four spots to No. 13 - "Corey Brewer leads the league in fast break points, but transition defense was surely a topic of conversation in the Wolves' film sessions this week, as they allowed the Wizards and Clippers to rack up 58 fast break points in back-to-back losses. They've lost four straight within the conference and play four big games against the West (plus meetings with the Pacers and Heat) in the next two weeks."

ESPN: Down four spots to No. 9 - "Happy now, Wolves haters? Heard lots of Twitter noise -- much of it emanating from the Bay Area -- in protest of our crush on the Wolves that had them at No. 5 last week. Since then: Only a rout of bumbling Brooklyn prevented Minnesota from an 0-4 week heading into Monday's daunting visit to Indy."

Yeah Wolves haters, are you happy now?!?!

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