Minnesota Timberwolves: Power rankings round-up, Week Seven

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports /

Despite not winning a game in over a week, the Minnesota Timberwolves are still receiving respect across the power rankings world.

Let’s take a look at where the Wolves sit as we navigate through Week Seven of the NBA season.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Power rankings round-up, Week Seven

A week ago, the Timberwolves sat at 11-10. Then, they lost three consecutive games.

First, there was the disappointing loss at the Washington Wizards, which saw Karl-Anthony Towns go down with a bruised tailbone in the final minutes. He missed Friday’s loss at the Brooklyn Nets, in which the Wolves played much better but simply did not have the firepower to match Kevin Durant down the stretch.

Monday’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks was the most disappointing of them all, as Towns returned to the floor and the Wolves had a rest advantage over an Atlanta Hawks team that came into the game with a .500 record and having lost three of their last four games.

Still, D’Angelo Russell and Patrick Beverley missed the game, and the Wolves couldn’t slow down the Hawks’ outside shooting attack.

Now, the Wolves record stands at 11-13, with an exceedingly difficult schedule upcoming.

The Athletic continues to be the most pessimistic about the Timberwolves

Zach Harper at The Athletic has long been one of the most dubious writers and analysts when it comes to the Timberwolves.

This week, Harper ranks them lower than any of the other sites we reviewed (subscription required). The Wolves are No. 21 at The Athletic after landing at No. 18 last week. Also, as with many of these rankings, this was done before Monday’s loss to Atlanta.

Harper focuses on Patrick Beverley’s importance to the Wolves, noting that he played “excellent” in four games in which the Wolves won just prior to going down with an injury. Notably, Beverley appears to have a shot at returning on Wednesday against the Utah Jazz.

The most realistic Timberwolves rankings come from NBA.com and ESPN

ESPN has been the other site that has consistently ranked the Timberwolves lower than many of the other sites. Still, the No. 19 ranking here doesn’t feel terribly off, given the three-game skid.

Both ESPN and NBA.com cite the Wolves’ difficult upcoming schedule — the Denver Nuggets are the Wolves’ only December opponent with a record not currently above .500 — as reason for concern regarding the Wolves’ prospects moving forward.

John Schuhmann of NBA.com ranks the Wolves No. 18 and keys in on their struggles with execution in crunch time; Minnesota is the only team that has averaged less than one point per possession in the fourth quarter this year — a horrendous number.

A few sites are more optimistic about the Timberwolves

CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, and Bleacher Report each have a bit of a sunnier outlook when it comes to the Timberwolves.

CBS has the Wolves ranked at No. 14 even after their Monday loss to Atlanta. Sports Illustrated’s Chris Herring also has the Wolves at No. 14.

As for Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey, he has the Timberwolves all the way up at No. 13, ahead of the likes of the Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, LA Clippers, and Cleveland Cavaliers. Bailey cites the +10.1 per 100 possessions that the Timberwolves have put up with Towns, Russell, and Anthony Edwards all on the floor at the same time.

Of course, injuries have caused that trio to not play together at all for the last two games, both losses.

Next. Checking in on the stars of the Iowa Wolves. dark

With upcoming contests at home against the Jazz and Cleveland Cavaliers and at the Portland Trail Blazers yet this week, the Wolves will have their work cut out for them, to say the least.