Minnesota Timberwolves: Power rankings round-up, Week Eight

Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports /

Predictably, the Minnesota Timberwolves recent swoon was felt in league-wide power rankings in a major way.

Still, there were some surprises related to the true volatility of some of the rankings. Let’s take a look at Week Eight from around the NBA blogosphere.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Power rankings round-up, Week Eight

Two weeks ago, the Wolves were 11-10. Then, a five-game losing streak that dragged on through Friday of last week. There were injuries to both Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell during the skid, although both stars have returned. Veteran starter Patrick Beverley, who had missed five games due to injury, is back as well.

While the Wolves snapped the losing streak on Sunday night with a nice road win over the Portland Trail Blazers, Week Eight in the power rankings was partially completed on Sunday, prior to the skid being halted.

From hot to cold: CBS Sports has the most volatile Timberwolves ranking

CBS Sports’ Colin Ward-Henninger has been as hot and cold on the Wolves as any other analyst over the first two months of the season.

As recently as his last rankings, he had Minnesota as high as No. 14 (!). Now, they’ve plummeted to No. 25, the lowest rankings of any of the sites we considered.

Ward-Henninger notes the injuries to Towns and Russell as the primary culprits for a hideous stretch of offense but also takes them to task for their sliding defense.

All the other sites feel the same about the Timberwolves

As for everyone else, well, there’s again a relative consensus about Chris Finch’s Timberwolves.

ESPN’s panel of five voters dropped the Wolves a single spot to No. 20 with little commentary, except to note that Anthony Edwards is already in the franchise’s top 10 in career 3-point attempts — a remarkable statistic, indeed.

Sports Illustrated’s ranking was done following the win over Portland, but they still have the Wolves at No. 21. Michael Shapiro also notes that it would be a disappointment for the Wolves to miss the play-in tournament altogether, given the talent on the roster.

John Schumann of NBA.com also has Minnesota at No. 21. He spends much of his blurb on the Wolves lauding what he refers to as the “GREATEST LINEUP EVER” (caps lock his, not mine), which was reassembled on Sunday: D’Angelo Russell, Patrick Beverley, Anthony Edwards, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Karl-Anthony Towns.

Indeed, that lineup outscored the Trail Blazers by 20 points in just over 16 minutes and is now a +106 in 108 minutes on the season, which is an absolutely absurd statistic.

The Athletic’s Zach Harper continues to be the crankiest of the bunch when it comes to Minnesota (subscription required). Harper has them at No. 22, down a spot from last week. He notes their fourth-quarter struggles on both ends of the floor, with D’Angelo Russell as the notable exception on offense.

Next. 4 midseason trades to improve the Wolves. dark

Things don’t get any easier for the Wolves, who are in Denver on Wednesday and head home to take on the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.