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Power Rankings Roundup: Dispiriting

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On a day for imbibing any number of delicious alcoholic beverages and going to mediocre Irish-themed bars, the Power Rankings aren't looking so great. Let's take a look and then sing a couple of drinking songs to raise the spirits.

Is that how to shoot jumpers?
Is that how to shoot jumpers?
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The last week of the Minnesota Timberwolves' season has been one of the lowest points of a year chock full of them. I would still rate my dismay at the loss to Philadelphia for their first win of the  year and various points in the long losing streak as lower than this, but the losses this week have all felt so inevitable in nature. They haven't been pretty, and the rankings noticed.

CBS Sports: #28 (down 3)

(full rankings here)

Matt Moore of CBS is in the flavor of this Sunday's recap:

They've got a bunch of good ingredients but no one's cooking.

NBC ProBasketballTalk: #26 (down 1)

(full rankings here)

Kurt Helin of NBC can't see the shine anymore:

No Kevin Garnett due to knee soreness the last four (all losses), which takes some of the luster off his little return. Actually the luster is off of everything: Andrew Wiggin's shooting, Ricky Rubio's ankles, anything resembling defense.

NBA.com: #28 (down 4)

(full rankings here)

John Schuhmann of NBA.com must have read some comments around the Internet, because the optimism is indeed low right now:

Minnesota (14-51)
Pace: 97.5 (9) OffRtg: 99.4 (27) DefRtg: 108.6 (30) NetRtg: -9.2 (28)
An 0-4 trip has killed a little bit of the optimism surrounding the Wolves. Kevin Garnett didn't play, Andrew Wiggins shot 38 percent, Ricky Rubio turned his ankle, they trailed each of the four games by at least 14 points, and they got absolutely thumped in San Antonio on Sunday. One silver lining: 16 points and 15 rebounds for Adreian Payne against the Clippers.
This week: vs. BKN, @ TOR, @ NYK, vs. CHA

USA Today: #29 (down 1)

(full rankings here)

Adi Joseph of USA Today is thinking about the future:

They have an interesting long-term decision on Gorgui Dieng vs. Nikola Pekovic.

SI: #29 (down 2)

(full rankings here)

Matt Dollinger of SI sees a sad, familiar trend:

With Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Garnett all banged up, the Wolves are in an all-too-familiar position of playing shorthanded.

ESPN: #27 (down 4)

(full rankings here)

Marc Stein of ESPN (for now the third week in a row) is looking at KG:

With 138 more minutes, Kevin Garnett will become the fifth player in history to crack 50,000 for his career, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Jason Kidd and Elvin Hayes. The problem: Knee soreness has shelved KG for the Wolves' last four outings since a surprise W over Portland.

SBNation: #27 (no change)

(full rankings here)

Drew Garrison of SBN thinks we should be seeing more (and I agree):

Minnesota should be better than this, on paper. With the obvious Rookie of the Year in Andrew Wiggins, along with the return of Ricky Rubio and Kevin Martin, it's surprising the Timberwolves still aren't stringing together a few more wins.

Summary: High - 26, Low - 29, Average 27.7 (down 2.1)

It's going to be interesting to see how both the Wolves and Knicks approach Thursday night's game, which has a great deal of significance at the bottom of the league. It's an away game, so the Wolves seem likely to rest a large number of players, but the Knicks are really atrocious. It would be good for morale to get a win at some point this week, but I have trouble seeing it.

To keep your spirits up, watch some college ball this week and examine the potential future Timberwolves in action. I don't know if we're doing any sort of bracket thing, but my delightful, homerrific Final Four is Wichita State, Wisconsin, Northern Iowa and Iowa State, with Northern Iowa over Wichita State in the National Championship in the rubber match between those two teams this year (both won at home during the regular season). (full, obvious disclosure: I graduated from Northern Iowa in 2012.) The bagpipes playing in my left ear right now are deafening. Happy St. Pat's, all.