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Power Rankings: Close Losses

After a week of close losses to high-quality teams, how do the Timberwolves compare to other teams around the leagues? Check it out in your new and expanded Power Rankings Roundup!

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Hold still, little man.
Hold still, little man.
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves went 1-2 this week, with a dominating win over the Wizards followed by close losses to the Bulls and the Grizzlies. Scribes around the league had words to say! Check them out below.

CBS Sports: -- (24 last week)

(full rankings here)

Matt Moore of CBS did not release rankings this week due to a perforated eardrum, which sounds like the worst thing. Get well soon!

NBC ProBasketballTalk: #25 (no change)

(full rankings here)

Kurt Helin of NBC is unimpressed by KG's defensive impact, which I disagree with:

Kevin Garnett back in Minnesota is a wonderful story, but this is still a team that doesn't play much defense and shoots too many midrange shots on the other end. KG can't change those things by himself anymore. #25 (no change)

(full rankings here)

John Schuhmann of, on the contrary, was impressed by the Timberwolves' defense:

Minnesota (13-45)
Pace: 97.5 (9) OffRtg: 99.3 (26) DefRtg: 108.5 (30) NetRtg: -9.2 (29)
Kevin Garnett's first game back with the Wolves was their best defensive game of the season, though that may have had more to do with the Wizards than with KG. He's fitting in well with his new team, with seven of his 11 shots coming from mid-range. The Wolves' 43 mid-range shots in Friday's loss at Chicago was the most they've attempted this season.
This week: vs. LAC, vs. DEN, vs. POR

USA Today: #28 (down 1)

(full rankings here)

Adi Joseph of USA Today enters the Roundup as the low man (below the Lakers!?):

Marketing mantra: Come to see Kevin Garnett, stay to watch Andrew Wiggins.

SI: #26 (no change)

(full rankings here)

Matt Dollinger of SI is our other new entrant today:

Kevin Garnett's homecoming has turned into the feel-good story of the season. Minnesota is unlikely to pull off many wins like its 20-point romp of Washington in KG's return, but it'll likely play with the same edge its boasted since having Garnett on the team.

ESPN: #23 (up 2)

(full rankings here)

Marc Stein of ESPN is full of KG feelings:

Everybody has sad travel stories this time of year, especially given the many storms in circulation, but it legitimately pains the committee's soul to have missed Kevin Garnett's news conference and first game after being reincarnated as a Timberwolf. Go ahead and mock us for being overly nostalgic. Don't care.

SBNation: #27 (up 1)

(full rankings here)

Drew Garrison of SBN is also stoked about KG.

Finally, Kevin Garnett is BACK .... in Minnesota. KG's first game back with the Timberwolves ended in a 20-point victory over the Wizards. It was a sight to behold.

Summary: High - 23, Low - 28, Average 25.7

I wanted to add some (meaningless) summary stats now that I've gotten up to seven different media outlets to acquire rankings from. As most national coverage of the Wolves the past week has been, it was all about KG, and not as much about the actual basketball played. The Wolves got off to a pretty solid start to this week with last night's tough loss to the Clippers and Ricky Rubio's triple-double effort in the loss. I continue to be impressed with Adreian Payne's workrate to start his tenure in Minnesota, even though some of the basketball skills are yet to catch up. This article from Andrew Ford at Upside & Motor is a nice little scouting report of Payne's first few games of major NBA minutes.

Upcoming this week, in addition to (technically) last night's Clippers loss, are games agains the now-coachless Denver Nuggets and the already-defeated-this-year Portland Trail Blazers. On paper, the Wolves should probably beat Denver, who are 1-9 in their last ten and on a six game losing streak, and now have no head coach. As Zach noted on Twitter earlier today...

Denver's record (20-39) is still seven games better than Minnesota's (13-46), but they are very much trending in opposite directions and there's a good chunk of games left this season. Tomorrow's game could end up being very significant. See you next week!