Minnesota Timberwolves: Power rankings round-up, Week Four

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns drives to the basket. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns drives to the basket. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports /

Ladies and gentlemen, the Minnesota Timberwolves are right back on the roller coaster.

After a rough third week, the Wolves were much more competitive in Week Four, including a blowout road win over the Los Angeles Lakers. How did the up and down past few days influence their power rankings standing?

Minnesota Timberwolves: Power rankings round-up, Week Four

The Wolves’ current standing in various league power rankings around the NBA blogosphere is somehow simultaneously remarkable yet also unsurprising.

Indeed, there isn’t much suspense here, so we’ll have to rely on what each publication said about the Wolves in the accompanying blurb to get any sense of nuance.

Last week, the Wolves played all four of their games on the road. First, they lost an overtime heartbreaker to the Memphis Grizzlies. Then, a predictable loss to the Golden State Warriors that was technically within reach down the stretch. That was followed, however, by an impressive, 24-point win over the Los Angeles Lakers, albeit with LeBron James sidelined due to injury.

On Saturday, the Wolves crashed right back down to earth, falling to the LA Clippers by 27 points. Monday’s close loss to the Phoenix Suns was not taken into consideration in these rankings.

Every single power ranking has the Minnesota Timberwolves ranked at No. 25

Yes, you read that correctly. Among the five websites that we’ve been monitoring for their power rankings this year, they all feel exactly the same about the Minnesota Timberwolves at the four-week mark.

ESPN slid the Wolves a spot from No. 24, noting their spot in the bottom-five of offensive efficiency. Sporting News dropped the Wolves from No. 23 and noted the importance of the Wolves falling into long losing streaks; last season, they had two separate losing streaks of seven or more.

There was a trio of sites that kept the Wolves exactly where they were ranked a week ago: Athletic’s Zach Harper, NBA.com’s John Schuhmann, and SI.com’s Michael Pina.

The Athletic is calling for Wolves fans to worry about the lottery again (subscription required), only avoiding dropping the team to the tanking tier because, well, they aren’t actually tanking. NBA.com focused on Anthony Edwards’ recent struggles, as well as the Wolves already devolving into the league’s fourth-worst defense over the course of the first two weeks of November.

Pina locks in on an issue we’ve touched on previously here at Dunking With Wolves: Towns’ relative lack of shot attempts in crunch time. Towns currently ranks third on the roster in overall usage rate, and the Wolves are the league’s third-worst team in crunch time. Coincidence? Not at all.

There is a consensus on four of the five teams ranked below the Wolves on all of these lists. The Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, and New Orleans Pelicans are all ranked below the Wolves. (Don’t worry, the Wolves are collectively just 2-2 against these opponents so far this year, so there’s that.)

There isn’t another team that is ranked in the exact same spot in the bottom six; four of the five lists had Houston and New Orleans in some order at No. 29 and No. 20.

Next. Key takeaways from Wolves loss to Suns. dark

This week could be a bit different, however. The Wolves have the Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs on tap at Target Center. Each of those teams was ranked behind the Wolves once on these lists: ESPN has San Antonio at No. 26, and NBA.com has Sacramento at No. 26.