|2011-12 Team Rating|
|18th Overall||21st Overall|
2011-12 Season Stats
Andrei Kirilenko: From Russia, with Love. Kirilenko returns to the NBA from his native land to bring much-needed stability at small forward, while being paired with Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic.
Ricky Rubio goes from proving he deserved the buildup to needing to prove he will come back strong from knee surgery. Shooting guard is a big problem, unless Brandon Roy can last starter minutes.
Playing in Russia again seemed to rejuvenate Kirilenko. The Timberwolves hope he reclaimed some defense from five or eight years ago. They are severely lacking in that department, with little help anywhere.
The presence of Luke Ridnour and Jose Barea is a comfort as Rubio returns from injury, and Chase Budinger and maybe Derrick Williams behind Kirilenko is good. Otherwise, it's a lot of relying on the unproven.
Rick Adelman proved his value in a new location, again, last season by pointing the Timberwolves in the direction of the playoffs until Rubio's knee injury doused hopes. Now to actually deliver the postseason.
Love should be better than ever, Rubio will be off the rookie learning curve, the summer additions centered on veterans (Kirilenko, Roy, Budinger) and not more draft picks to develop -- the Timberwolves are positioned for a step forward into the playoffs. Except there is the rest of the story.
That's a very thin bench for a team with two pressing injury concerns, Rubio and Roy. And there is really no way to know how Kirilenko's return to prominence in Europe will translate to the NBA and its tougher schedule and competition. Minnesota needs a lot of things to go right.
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||C+|
|Los Angeles Clippers||B|
|Los Angeles Lakers||A|
|New Jersey Nets||A|
|New Orleans Hornets||B+|
|New York Knicks||C|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||C-|
|San Antonio Spurs||B|