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Updated: April 10th, 2014 7:07pm
As far as their record goes, Wolves have been remarkably average

As far as their record goes, Wolves have been remarkably average

by Nate Sandell
1500ESPN.com
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Looking at their record alone, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been about as average as you can get this season.

Anyone who has even casually followed the Wolves' season knows they have constantly struggled to break out of the same tired script, failing to sustain on the bursts of obvious potential they've shown. But a closer look at their record shows just how remarkably up and down their season has been.

Down to only 10 available players on Wednesday, the shorthanded Wolves dropped to 39-39 on the year with a loss to the Chicago Bulls.

It marked the 23rd time Minnesota has held a .500 record since the start of the season.

Back on Nov. 16, the Wolves were 7-4 after defeating the Celtics. Since that point, they have been no more than two games above .500. On the flip side, they haven't fallen more than four games below .500.

Coach Rick Adelman has noted on several occasions how puzzling and frustrating it's been to see a team be as remarkably inconsistent as the Wolves.

However, it should be remembered that until this season it had been nine years since the franchise had won more than 33 games in a season. There have been steps in the right direction, but it hasn't been the substantial progress that fans were hoping for (i.e. playoffs).

The Wolves' perpetual up and down pattern had them already starting to fade in the competitive Western Conference playoff picture at the All-Star break. As their identity as a .500 team became further cemented, it became clear the Wolves' playoff drought would be extended to 10 years.

"That's kind of been where we are (.500)," said Adelman, whose squad has only four games to go. "That's how we've played. We're hoping to win some games down the stretch and inch over it."

Even opposing coaches have admitted to being surprised by the Wolves' record, given how well Minnesota has proven it can play when in top form.

"The job that Rick has done here since he's gotten here says a lot," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "They've established a style a play. I think they've gotten better. They share the ball. They're hard to guard. They score the ball easily."

"They've had some games that could have gone either way for them early on ... I think they have some good young pieces. It's a good blend. They have some good veteran experience as well. There is quality depth. I think they're on the right path."

Entering their final four games, the Wolves still have a chance to post their first winning record since the 2004-05 season (44-38) Minnesota hosts Houston on Friday before heading out on a two-game road trip.

Nate Sandell is a contributor to 1500ESPN.com.
Email Nate | @nsandell
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