The Wolves needed to play well on this road trip pretty badly. It took a nail biter in Golden State (!!!!) to go along with a couple of dinged up players, but ultimately, they did what they needed to do.
While this set of rankings won't include last night's win in Chicago, the team's first close victory, the noticeably improved play from Kevin Martin, and a slew of other factors helped the Wolves come with 3 wins in 4 games.
Despite these rankings listing them 1 game below, the Wolves are back at .500, again.
Average Ranking: 15.85 (Last week: 15.57)
No. 15 (Last Week: 14): Jason Patt, SB Nation
The Wolves just can't get over the .500 hump. Since moving to 8-8 early in the year, Minnesota has gone 0-8 in games that would put them over the .500 mark with a victory.
No. 17 (Last Week: 18): Marc Stein, ESPN
Gonna try to keep it positive here, for once, after the Wolves finally won a game decided by four points or less. More positivity: Newly minted All-Star starter Kevin Love is on pace to become the first player to average more than 25 PPG, 13-plus RPG and 4-plus APG in a single season since Kareem in 1975-76.
No. 15 (Last Week: 15): Marc Spears, Yahoo! Sports
While Ricky Rubio is averaging just 8.6 points on 35.8 shooting, he leads the NBA in steals per game (2.6) and is fifth in assists (8.3).
No. 16 (Last Week: 16): Matt Moore, CBS Sports
They won an actual, real-life close game! Our baby is all grown up! Maybe the last of the storms have passed the Wolves.
No. 17 (Last Week: 17): USA Today Writers' Poll
Kevin Love has had a double-double in 37 of his 42 games this season.
No. 16 (Last Week: 16): Matt Dollinger, Sports Illustrated
Despite ranking 11th in net rating, the Wolves are still 3½ games out of a playoff spot. Their offense and defense both rank in the top 14 in efficiency, but Minnesota doesn't have a winning record -- thanks in part to its struggles in close games. With Friday's 121-120 victory over the Warriors, Minnesota improved to 1-11 in games decided by four points or fewer.
No. 15 (Last Week: 13): John Schuhmann, NBA.com
If Ricky Rubio earned some karma by playing ball with a little girl in Utah, it was enough to get the Wolves their first win by four points or less (three nights later) and for Rubio to get his first fourth-quarter basket in over five weeks, but not enough to get them back over .500 in Portland on Saturday. They've allowed over 110 points per 100 possessions in their 10 failed attempts to get over.