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Updated: February 3rd, 2014 8:11pm
Up-and-down Wolves stay in middle of pack in latest NBA power rankings

Up-and-down Wolves stay in middle of pack in latest NBA power rankings

by Nate Sandell
1500ESPN.com
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It's been a season of frustrating mediocrity for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Back-to-back losses have the Wolves back in the up and down track that they have be stuck in for the majority of the year.

Last week saw the Wolves finally climb back over .500 for the first time in two months as part of a rejuvenating run of five wins in six games.

But the positive signs didn't come without its share of negatives with Nikola Pekovic sidelined indefinitely with bursitis in his right ankle. After grinding out a win against New Orleans, the Wolves, without Pekovic, unraveled in losses to Memphis and on the road to Atlanta, saddling them again with a losing record (22-23).

All the back and forth has made the Wolves a difficult team to gauge. In the eyes of many league analysts, Rick Adelman's squad has enough potential to not count it out, but a track record that has kept them on the wrong side of the Western Conference playoff picture.

ESPN's Marc Stein kept the Wolves right where they were last week in his latest NBA power rankings, slotting them at No. 17 overall and 10th in the Western Conference.

Stein's take:

"Twice Kevin Love has racked up 40-plus points along with 15-plus boards. Minnesota lost both times. So there's one more head-scratcher, right up there with the Wolves' eighth-best average nightly margin of plus-4.3, to leave you baffled as to why they're 1-10 in games when they can climb over .500."

CBS Sports' Matt Moore has been a bit more favorable of the Wolves. Moore bumped Minnesota up one spot to No. 15, also seeing them as the 10th best team in the West

Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports also moved the Wolves up by one, from No. 15 to No. 14, after their 2-2 week.

The Wolves' schedule before next week's All-Star break is a gauntlet, slated to face three of the West's top five teams (Oklahoma City, Portland and Houston) amid a six-game stretch.

And just to make things a little more interesting, Adelman has indicated he has "no idea" if Pekovic will be back before the break.

Nate Sandell is a contributor to 1500ESPN.com.
Email Nate | @nsandell
In this story: Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic
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