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Friday (Spot-on analysis of underachieving Wolves) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Wolves news Updated: January 24, 2014 - 9:45 AM

Even though there is still a decent chance the Timberwolves make the playoffs this year, it's hard to qualify the first half of the season as anything but a disappointment.

They were relatively healthy, with their four "core" players -- Kevin Love, Kevin Martin, Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic -- missing a total of three games combined. They showed flashes of dominance, leading the NBA in games in which they have led by 30 points (10 times). But they have been beset by late-game struggles that have made their overall statistics add up to an underachieving 20-21 record.

As such, SI.com has handed out mid-season grades and given the Wolves a "D+." We like to guess at grades in these types of stories, and we were thinking "C-," so we were pretty much on the same page.

What really stood out, though, is the succinct way in which the SI piece laid out the team's struggles and what is at stake. It's not earth-shattering stuff, but it's hard to do much better in five paragraphs. It takes a trip through the offseason moves, late-game struggles and Love's impending free agency before concluding with this:

Individually, Minnesota’s offseason moves were logical, and in some cases (particularly Pekovic) the alternative would be far worse than the current reality. Together, though, the moves have put Minnesota over the cap for next season, and none of its newcomers (many of whom can be classified as overpaid) carries much in the way of trade value. The Wolves lack young prospects, too. Because of these factors and Love’s free agency next year, the Timberwolves badly needed to end their playoff drought and generate some momentum this season. There might not be another team in the league that needs a second-half turnaround more than this one.

So very true. They have an All-Star starter. They have other very nice pieces. Now they really need to put it all together or risk it all falling apart.

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NY Yankees 0 Bottom 5th Inning
Toronto 2
Detroit 3 Bottom 4th Inning
Chicago WSox 6
Chicago Cubs 0 Bottom 1st Inning
St. Louis 0
Cincinnati - A. Simon 3:05 PM
Pittsburgh - V. Worley
Minnesota - K. Gibson 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Philadelphia - J. Williams 6:10 PM
NY Mets - B. Colon
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Atlanta - A. Harang
Boston - A. Webster 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Cleveland - T. Bauer 6:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Detroit - K. Ryan 6:10 PM
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt
Texas - R. Ross Jr. 6:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Colorado - T. Matzek 7:10 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada 7:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Gonzales
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:40 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 8:05 PM
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Oakland - J. Samardzija 8:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Washington - S. Strasburg 8:10 PM
Seattle - R. Elias
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
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Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
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UAB 31
(7) UCLA 21 3rd Qtr 3:40
Virginia 17
Western Mich 21 3rd Qtr 10:25
Purdue 23
(5) Ohio State 13 3rd Qtr 4:21
Navy 14
Appalachian St 7 3rd Qtr 4:27
Michigan 49
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NC State 3
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(12) Georgia
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(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
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Florida
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Fresno State 6:30 PM
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(25) Washington 9:30 PM
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Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
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SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
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(2) Alabama
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Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
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Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
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(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
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Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
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San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 3:00 PM
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New England 4:00 PM
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Columbus 6:30 PM
Montreal
FC Dallas 7:30 PM
Chicago
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 6:00 PM
Indiana

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