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2012 NBA power rankings: Timberwolves at No. 16

The Minnesota Timberwolves dropped three spots to No. 16 in SB Nation's latest NBA power rankings.

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

The Minnesota Timberwolves come in at No. 16 in Seth Rosenthal's latest SB Nation NBA power rankings. The team dropped three spots after losing three straight this past week, despite star Kevin Love's return from injury. Those three losses are a part of a five-game losing streak overall.

Love has played well in his return from a broken hand, but as Rosenthal notes, Minnesota's short-handed backcourt is killing the team:

The frontcourt is happily intact once more, but that only accentuates the short-handedness of the backcourt. The return of Kevin Love has been magnificent, but not enough to compensate for the lack of production and defensive resistance Minnesota's been getting from a motley platoon of would-be/should-be reserve guards.

Numerous players have missed time in the Timberwolves' backcourt. Point guard Ricky Rubio has been out since last year with a torn ACL, although he is slated to return relatively soon. Chase Budinger tore his meniscus, and Brandon Roy just had knee surgery. J.J. Barea has also missed some time this season.

Minnesota will look to get back on track when they play the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night. The Timberwolves also face the Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks later in the week.

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