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24. Minnesota Timberwolves (↑Previously 25th), 17-44, -6.9 net rating
Weekly slate: Win at Kings, Loss at Kings, Win at Jazz
Old player to break the Power Rankings curse: Sam Cassell
Cassell was not afraid of any moment. It’s why when the Minnesota Timberwolves acquired him before the 2003-04 season, Kevin Garnett was ecstatic. Cassell had championship experience and onions the size of boulders. Cassell only spent two years in Minnesota before contract disputes led to him getting dealt. Cassell made this team serious for the first year of his time there. The only time in franchise history they advanced past the first round happened because he was there to help KG out. Somehow, he remains under-appreciated.
Why are they ranked here? A 2-1 week with a win over Utah should feel like a bigger move is earned than just one spot. However, this is the top of this pretty bad tier, and it would be a lot harder for them to move up into that tier with their record. I do love that Anthony Edwards was asked why they’re so much better playing in the fourth quarter lately and he said he wasn’t playing in them before. Protect him at all costs.
25. Sacramento Kings (↑Previously 26th), 24-36, -4.4 net rating
Weekly slate: Loss to Wolves, Win over Wolves, Loss at Warriors
Old player to break the Power Rankings curse: Jason Williams
One of the most electrifying players we’ve seen. Williams was an oddity for so many reasons, but the component he brought to the entertainment of the game was being unapologetically him. The Sacramento Kings took a risk on him in the 1998 draft, and his attitude and passing became contagious. The Kings quickly became one of the must-watch teams in the league, and it was mostly because you didn’t know what he might do. I’m always going to be fully convinced that YouTube was created because we couldn’t keep risking computer health trying to find J-Will and Vince Carter highlights online.