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Power Rankings Roundup: All Aboard the Payne Train

Choo choo. Train's pulling into the station with fresh power rankings from across the land.

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Nate Robinson's not ready to feel the Payne.
Nate Robinson's not ready to feel the Payne.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

While the Timberwolves lost last night to the Los Angeles Clippers, I'm heartened by Adreian Payne's career-best game and numbers last night, and therefore have to include some (probably) Payneful puns in today's roundup. Welcome to the House of Payne.

CBS Sports: #25 (down 1)

(full rankings here)

Matt Moore of CBS is mixing his extremes:

Minnesota started the year as a good bad team, then they got hurt and were a bad bad team, and now they're a bad good team. This is all code for: Andrew Wiggins is awesome and gets better every game.

NBC ProBasketballTalk: #25 (no change)

(full rankings here)

Kurt Helin of NBC is not looking at the losses, rather the scores:

They aren't winning a lot but with their new rotation they are pushing qualities teams. Which is all they see this week on the road with the Clippers, Suns, Thunder and Spurs. #24 (up 1)

(full rankings here)

John Schuhmann of sees upsets in our future (also, we're up to 28th in NetRtg!):

Minnesota (14-47)
Pace: 97.5 (9) OffRtg: 99.6 (27) DefRtg: 108.5 (30) NetRtg: -8.9 (28)
Are the Wolves a spoiler team? Four of their last five wins have come against teams with winning records, including Saturday's upset of the Blazers, in which Gary Neal somehow scored 27 points with only one 3-point attempt. Ricky Rubio had 15 dimes in that one and has recorded five straight point-assist double-doubles, assisting nine different teammates.
This week: @ LAC, @ PHX, @ OKC, @ SAS

USA Today: #28 (no change)

(full rankings here)

Adi Joseph of USA Today examines stoichiometry:

The Ricky Rubio-Andrew Wiggins chemistry is obvious and really, really fun.

Sounds like a balanced equation to me.

SI: #27 (down 1)

(full rankings here)

Matt Dollinger of SI has KG numbers:

You think the young Wolves are fired up to be playing with Kevin Garnett? Compare their defensive rating from when he's on the floor (97.0) and off it (111.3).

ESPN: #23 (up 1)

(full rankings here)

Marc Stein of ESPN is (STILL) full of KG feelings:

Since we can't get enough of KG Mania (or KG trivia): We feel compelled to share that 2,879 days elapsed between Kevin Garnett's last appearance in a Wolves uniform late in the 2006-07 season and his recent return. The Wolves made eight trips to the playoffs in KG's first tour of Sota duty ... and none since.

SBNation: #27 (no change)

(full rankings here)

Drew Garrison of SBN sees the potential.

The Timberwolves can be dangerous when Ricky Rubio stacks up 15 assists and Kevin Martin dials in 29 points, which is exactly how Minnesota snapped a four-game losing streak with a win over Portland. Injuries really bogged this team down this season.

Summary: High - 23, Low - 28, Average 25.6 (up 0.1)

As Schuhmann noted above, the Wolves continue to have a rough schedule patch with this West coast trip, but they have continued to perform relatively well. The potential is there, and if players like Payne can continue to build on their strong performances, the end of the year can be very positive.

Unrelated, just because I want to make sure it's gone around everywhere: this story about a fan who sent mail to all thirty NBA teams and received one reply from the Wolves is awesome. Great work by the organization and president Chris Wright.