|2012-13 Team Rating|
|25th Overall||14th Overall|
2012-13 Season Stats
Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Love should excel as one of the more productive 4-5 scoring and rebounding combos in the league. Chase Budinger will spread the floor and Corey Brewer brings speed and defense.
Ricky Rubio's ready for a breakthrough and the point position is less cumbersome with J.J. Barea as the top reserve. Smart to reunite Kevin Martin with Rick Adelman and allows Alexey Shved to fire away off the bench.
The return of 6-foot-10, 260-pound Love certainly helps alongside big-bodied Pekovic. Brewer's long, lanky frame will provide a boost on the wing in the wake of losing Andrei Kirilenko. Rookie Gorgui Dieng could make a mark.
Time for Derrick Williams to prove himself worthy of the No. 2 pick and become a key contributor, which would greatly strengthen what remains mostly an unproven crew that yielded too many shots to Dante Cunningham last season.
Adelman struggled through one of the toughest seasons of his career due to widespread injuries and a mysterious illness that hospitalized his wife. Adelman left the team for a stretch and even contemplated retirement. Good news is he's back.
Injuries deflated last season's playoff expectations, but the hype is back and now it's time for the Wolves to fulfill the promise. Rubio really regained his confidence late last season after a slow return from ACL surgery and double-double machine Love was never a factor because of his twice-broken hand. Pekovic, a restricted free agent, is still expected to be back and that's a pretty solid threesome to begin a season.
The Wolves certainly deserve better luck in the injury department. And, knock on wood, all indications are that Adelman will again be sharply focused on his club. The pieces are in place from top (the return of Flip Saunders now in the front office) to bottom for a first playoff appearance since 2004.
-- Jeff Caplan
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||B+|
|Los Angeles Clippers||A-|
|Los Angeles Lakers||C|
|New Orleans Pelicans||C-|
|New York Knicks||B|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||B+|
|Portland Trail Blazers||B|
|San Antonio Spurs||A|