The Minnesota Timberwolves are going to have it rough for the first part of their season, with star players Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio both out with injuries. Both of them are on the path to recovery and will return this season, but the Wolves will have to make due without them for a good portion of time. As such, they're not very highly ranked in the season-opener power rankings around the Internet.
SB Nation posted its rankings on Monday, and Seth Rosenthal has them up at No. 17, which isn't bad, all things considered:
I was going to put the T-Wolves up way too high before I remembered that: 1. Kevin Love is hurt for a little while. 2. Ricky Rubio is still recovering. 3. They finished with a way worse record last year than I thought they did. All that said, I think this team has a genuine shot of making the playoffs. They were headed that way last year before Rubio's injury, and the additions of Andrei Kirilenko and Brandon Roy could be wondrous. I know for a fact that the arrival of Alexey Shved will be wondrous, whether or not he plays well.
Marc Stein of ESPN agrees with Rosenthal, placing the Wolves at No. 17 on his list. He notes that the playoffs might be out of reach for the Timberwolves by the time that Love and Rubio are back and in mid-season form.
Kurt Hein of Pro Basketball Talk has the Timberwolves lower on his list, at No. 19. He says that the Timberwolves stand a solid chance of making the playoffs, providing they can continue to play good defense while Rubio and Love are sidelined. Lastly, CBS Sports has them the lowest of the major rankings, at No. 20, one of the bottom 10 teams in the league.