For the first time this year, the Wolves are, on average, ranked in the lower half of the league in the power rankings. As the numbers would suggest (see: Eric's article today, as well as the link in the Dollinger blurb below), there is reason to believe things will turn around.
For now, the Wolves are 19-21 and had a 1-2 week, including a tough home loss to the Kings.
Take a look, and let us know what you think.
Average Ranking: 15.57 (Last week: 14.57)
No. 14 (Last Week: 13): Jason Patt, SB Nation
The Wolves lost two more close games last week, continuing a season-long trend of finding ways to lose when things are tight. One of the issues is the play of Ricky Rubio, who hasn't hit a shot in the fourth quarter in over a month.
No. 18 (Last Week: 15): Marc Stein, ESPN
You can probably recite the stat by heart: Sota is 0-11 in games decided by four points or fewer, compared to 19-10 in all other games. Kevin Love, meanwhile, has been held below 20 points in five of his past six games ... after it happened just five times in the season's first 33 games.
No. 15 (Last Week: 14): Marc Spears, Yahoo! Sports
Center Nikola Pekovic has averaged 21.6 points and 9.8 rebounds during the past 14 games.
No. 16 (Last Week: 18): Matt Moore, CBS Sports
They have to win a close game eventually, even by accident. It would help if Ricky Rubio could shoot or Nikola Pekovic could defend the rim. But mostly, it would be nice if their collective head didn't detonate in close games.
No. 17 (Last Week: 14): USA Today Writers' Poll
Nikola Pekovic's statistics: 18.3 points and 9.2 rebounds a game, 53.3% from the field and zero credit.
No. 16 (Last Week: 14): Matt Dollinger, Sports Illustrated
Here's one reason for optimism about the Wolves' playoff chances. Here's not one: Minnesota hasn't beaten a winning team in more than a month.
No. 13 (Last Week: 14): John Schuhmann, NBA.com
In the 30 years since the playoffs expanded to 16 teams, only one team - the 2008-09 Suns - has ranked in the top 10 in NetRtg and failed to qualify. The Wolves aren't far behind Phoenix for 10th, but seem to be at a real crossroads, coming off a three-game losing streak, struggling to get stops against decent offensive teams, and leaving for a four-game trip that starts Tuesday.