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NBA Power Rankings: Timberwolves Rank 22nd At SI.com

The Minnesota Timberwolves finished with the worst record in the NBA last season at 17-65.

But with No. 2 overall draft pick Derrick Williams and Spanish import point guard Ricky Rubio now in the fold, the Timberwolves have moved all the way up to 22nd in the season's first NBA Power Rankings by Britt Robson of SI.com.

Just the other day I had the Wolves finishing behind the Jazz in my Northwest Division preview. But after watching poised rookies Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams team with a newly buff Kevin Love to spread the floor and hang 117 points on a Scott Skiles defense, I'm jumping to a different conclusion. New coach Rick Adelman still has a long way to go in teaching this roster -- laden with youth and chronic underachievers -- how to play quality defense. But long-suffering Wolves fans have genuine reasons to be hopeful and excited.

While the rookies might command most of the attention early on, Kevin Love, who averaged 20.2 points and 15.2 rebounds last season, remains the team's most important player.

Minnesota concludes its preseason schedule on Wednesday on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks and open its regular season slate on the road against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Dec. 26.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.