Greg Smith-US PRESSWIRE
The Minnesota Timberwolves come in at No. 13 in SB Nation's latest power rankings, managing to stay afloat despite an incredible amount of injuries.
The Timberwolves are dealing with a remarkable amount of injuries, making their 5-4 record all that much more impressive. Point guard Ricky Rubio is out until midseason as he recovers from an ACL tear suffered late last season. Olympian Kevin Love is out with a broken hand. J.J. Barea and Nikola Pekovic are dealing with various ailments. Free agent acquisitions Chase Budinger and Brandon Roy are also out.
Andrei Kirilenko, Luke Ridnour and Derrick Williams get the most time for Minnesota and do their best to keep the beat up T-Wolves afloat. Kirilenko has played especially well, averaging 14.1 points and 8.3 rebounds while shooting at an efficient 60-percent clip.
Seth Rosenthal writes that a No. 13 ranking for the Timberwolves is more than respectable considering their decimated roster.
With half a dozen men confined to suits and chairs, an odd group of reserves is left to feverishly tread water as best as they can. There's only so much this group can muster -- they fell to the Bobcats and got throttled by the Warriors -- but the way Andrei Kirilenko is playing (as well as he's ever played in his excellent career, that is), they're going to steal some wins now and then. Kirilenko's doing everything -- scoring efficiently, passing, rebounding, defending, looking like a scary eagle -- to the point that you wonder if he'll be the team's most important player even once everybody's healthy.
Minnesota is coming off consecutive losses to the Charlotte Bobcats and Golden State Warriors, but look to rebound this upcoming week as they are slated to play the Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors, again.
For SB Nation's complete NBA power rankings, click here.