After a modest ascension in week one of most of the internet's NBA power rankings, the Wolves have stagnated on the lists following Ricky Rubio's injury and subsequent losses in Orlando and Miami. In truth, I thought they would tumble much more than they did. Internet power rankers seem to still see something in our Pups. Meanwhile, the Warriors and Rockets occupy the top two spots in all four of the power rankings we look at this week.
Here's what they have to say about the Wolves:
Wolves Ranking: 23rd (up from 24th last week)
Ricky Rubio's ankle injury certainly doesn't help things in Minnesota, but at least they have Mo Williams to fill the role in the meantime. Andrew Wiggins isn't off to an eye-popping start but is finding his way little by little. It's probably for the best that Flip Saunders isn't thrusting him into a huge role, instead allowing him to adjust to the NBA pace at his own learning curve. In the meantime, Kevin Martin can go ahead and drop 20 points per game, which seems to be the norm for him throughout his career.
My reaction: Yeah. At least having Mo Williams to fill in IS about the least they can have. This seems...optimistic, though I suppose the seven teams ranked below them could all be worse.
Wolves Ranking: 25th (down from 22nd last week)
Ricky Rubio had never looked more in command of his game and his team before that unfortunate ankle injury. The fact that Flip Saunders has made Zach LaVine his new starting PG over Mo Williams, meanwhile, suggests the coach/GM isn't as hung up on winning now as we've been led to believe.
This seems like an accurate take. I'm not sure they would be any more likely to win starting Mo Williams and bringing LaVine off the bench, but really it says more about the off-season roster construction (and the decision to keep GRIII instead of an actual point guard) than it does about what they are trying achieve now.
Wolves Ranking: 22 (up from 23rd last week)
Ricky Rubio has been key to the couple of Timberwolves wins - he shot 47.6 in those games and was a +15. He struggled with his shot in their losses. Fans may love rookie Zach LaVine but he is a big drop off from Rubio and it's going to show while the Spaniard is out.
And yet...up a spot. I guess there are some bad teams in the league this season.
Wolves Ranking: 21st (down from 19th last week)
Does Rubio help the Wolves? That popular question is about to get real with Ricky on the shelf for a few weeks. Without Rubio, their offense is like possums scattering when the light comes on.
I like that analogy. And the answer to the rhetorical question is yes. And still 21st. Internet analysts still seem to like the Wolves OK. We'll see what happens in the coming weeks. Hard for me to see them as higher than, say, 24th in Rubio's absence.
This has been your weeklyish roundup of power rankings from around the internet.