|2011-12 Team Rating|
|18th Overall||12th Overall|
Stats through Feb. 16
Kevin Love is an All-Star and MVP candidate, seriously, even on a team that is only flirting with .500. The bruising Nikola Pekovic has been a pleasant surprise and there is depth.
Ricky Rubio has been even better than expected but he's still young. He's one of three point guards (Luke Ridnour, Jose Barea) that play big minutes. Wesley Johnson has been a bit of a disappointment.
Rick Adelman has the Timberwolves competing on the defensive end, providing this team with a balance it lacked under previous regimes. And they're getting it done with hard work.
They've yet to gather an identity as a group, but there are plenty of pieces. Brad Miller was expected to be a core piece in Adelman's system but he's barely played (injuries).
Adelman is proving once again that he can take a group that couldn't get it right without him and push them into the playoff discussion.
The Timberwolves rank as one of the league's most improved teams and yet they're still struggling to reach .500, which tells you all you need to know about the coaching job being done before Adelman's arrival. Love and Rubio give the Timberwolves two bona-fide potential stars (though Love is already there) at their respective positions. It's the rest of the roster that has to come together. Michael Beasley was supposed to be the third member of that Timberwolves' Big 3 but injuries derailed those plans. He's getting quality minutes in his sixth man role, but he's clearly not the same player this season he's been in the past.
Adelman knew that the first year of this rebuilding project would be a difficult one, what with Rubio's transition from Europe to the NBA and having to take so many young and inexperienced players and adapting their skills to his system. They are still probably a year, and one or two pieces, away from making a legitimate run at a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
-- Sekou Smith
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||C-|
|Los Angeles Clippers||B|
|Los Angeles Lakers||B-|
|New Jersey Nets||D|
|New Orleans Hornets||F|
|New York Knicks||C+|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||B-|
|San Antonio Spurs||A|