Minnesota Timberwolves: Power rankings round-up, Week Two

Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns tries to score against the Orlando Magic. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns tries to score against the Orlando Magic. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports /

The Minnesota Timberwolves had a roller-coaster second week of the season, losing twice but defeating the defending-champion Milwaukee Bucks on the road. Welcome to Week Two of an overview of league power rankings.

A quick note: these power rankings were all completed prior to Monday night’s debacle of a loss to the Orlando Magic, so keep that in mind.

Let’s take a look at what the NBA media landscape thinks about the Wolves after the first 10 days of the regular season.

Sports Illustrated thinks highly of the Minnesota Timberwolves

Clearly, Sports Illustrated’s Rohan Nadkarni would rank the Wolves differently if someone had told him that the Wolves would blow a double-digit lead and lose by a whopping 18 points to the Magic on Monday night, but for what it’s worth, Nadkarni thought highly of the Wolves prior to that result.

The Wolves were 3-2 after the second complete week of play, and despite losing two of their three games last week, SI.com had the Wolves rise from No. 14 on the first week’s rankings to a shocking No. 11 this week.

Not much commentary is given, but Nadkarni shouts out Karl-Anthony Towns for successfully anchoring one of the league’s best defenses through the first two weeks.

Sporting News places the Minnesota Timberwolves one spot higher

Last week, Sporting News bumped the Wolves from No. 22 in their preseason rankings to No. 20. Now, Chris Finch’s bunch sits at No. 19.

Kyle Irving of Sporting News says that Anthony Edwards is “built for stardom”, and that the Wolves look like “one of the most improved teams in the league” as a result of Edwards’ growth.

Of course, Edwards’ season shooting splits of 40.5 percent from the floor and 30.9 percent from beyond the arc aren’t ideal, but his game-sealing shot against the Bucks was the most important play of the last week.

Two outlets have the Minnesota Timberwolves standing pat

Both Zach Harper at The Athletic and NBA.com’s John Schuhmann have the Wolves in the exact same spot as they were a week ago.

It makes sense, given that the Wolves lost a game they should have won (against the now-1-6 New Orleans Pelicans), beat the defending champs on the road, and then lost a close game to a solid playoff team in the Denver Nuggets.

Harper says as much, calling the Wolves loss to the Pelicans “very Wolves-like” (subscription required) and their road win over the Bucks “very un-Wolves like.” We couldn’t have said it any better ourselves.

Schuhmann’s fantastic ranking exercise underscores the lineup change that saw Jarred Vanderbilt join the starting lineup, and specifically, his offensive rebounding against the Milwaukee Bucks leading directly to nine second-chance points in what turned into a close game.

ESPN is the only outlet to drop the Minnesota Timberwolves lower in rankings

The Wolves ranked No. 22 on ESPN’s initial, preseason rankings. They moved up to No. 20 last week, and have now settled at No. 21.

ESPN and their panel of seven analysts was the only outlet to drop the Wolves at all, and it certainly seems as though the only way the Wolves will be able to avoid sliding any further on next week’s edition is if they sweep the LA Clippers in their two upcoming games at Target Center later this week.

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Here’s hoping for that best-case result, as the loss to the Magic on Monday dropped the Wolves to 3-3 on the young season.