It didn't matter if Portland was in transition or its half-court offense. It didn't matter if they were shooting from the outside or worked the ball to the rim.

The Trail Blazers on Thursday did whatever they wanted to offensively against the Timberwolves — as have a lot of teams this season.

The Wolves have the worst defensive efficiency in the NBA at 118 points allowed per 100 possessions. That's 2.8 points worse than the team in 29th place, the Wizards, and 15.1 points worse than the No. 1 team, Cleveland.

It hasn't helped the Wolves that their best defender, Josh Okogie, has missed the last five games because of a hamstring strain. But it's hard to see how they would be dramatically better once Okogie returns to the lineup. He has been ruled out for Saturday's game, though Karl-Anthony Towns — who has missed six consecutive games after suffering a dislocated left wrist, coinciding with a losing streak of the same length — is listed as questionable.

"Chemistry plays a major role in that, figuring out problems and moving fast," guard D'Angelo Russell said. "I think we're all right, though. Honestly, I think we're all right."

Russell's more assuring words stood in contrast to those of fellow Wolves guard Ricky Rubio, who sounded more concerned about where the Wolves stood. To Rubio, the problems on offense and defense are intertwined.

"Our offense right now is hurting our defense," Rubio said. "When we miss a couple shots, we just lose the energy, and that can't happen. When we take bad shots, we kind of put our defense in a [worse] position, and in that second quarter really was a killer for us. We've got to get better."

That second quarter featured Portland scoring 47 points and hitting 8 of 10 threes, an offensive barrage that ended the night early and turned the fourth quarter into a time of rest for both teams' starters.

Rubio was also pointing the finger at himself for the Wolves' issues, saying: "I have to be better in bringing everybody in the same boat. That's why I was brought here."

The Wolves play seven of their next eight games at home starting with Saturday's matchup against San Antonio. Rubio is hopeful they can iron out some of their issues over this stretch.

"It's time to really regroup, watch film, see what we're doing wrong, get on the court, run the right system, get to the right spots and run it."

That was easier said than done Thursday, when the Wolves allowed 135 points. There was frequent miscommunication on pick and roll coverage, something that has plagued the Wolves a lot since the roster turned over at last season's trade deadline.

Head coach Ryan Saunders said the Wolves prefer to have the two players involved in the pick and roll defend, but this season are trying to involve a third help-side defender at times. That hasn't been a smooth transition.

Mostly, Saunders wants to see more physicality.

"That's a big part of this," Saunders said. "Not having fans in the arena you can hear guys make the call. I don't hear a lot of busted coverages or busted calls, but I do see that we aren't doing things with the physicality that you need to have to guard guys like [Blazers guards] Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum."

Russell said the Wolves' youth is showing.

"When you're young in the league you're not familiar with the schemes," Russell said. "You're not familiar with the coverage. You're not familiar with the help, help the helper, you're not familiar with none of that. It's only going to get better in time. I feel like with us it's only up from here."

It's hard to go much further down.