NBA Western Power Rankings Week 3: Warriors storm ahead

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Nov 15, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) and forward Andrew Wiggins (22) battle for position with Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) in the second quarter at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

9th: Minnesota Timberwolves (27 points)

By Tom West

Record: 5-6

Record last week: 1-4

The Timberwolves are by far one of the most exciting young teams in the NBA. Andrew Wiggins gave us a big glimpse of his incredible potential last season, and Karl-Anthony Towns is starting to do the same after just three weeks. He’s simply looked beyond his years, and his play at both ends of the floor is certifying him as a future star already.

Admittedly, they did have a poor showing in week 3. A 1-4 record is low even for the Timberwolves’ expectations this year, but with matchups against the Warriors, Grizzlies and Indiana Pacers, they had some formidable opponents. Which, for such a young team, certainly warrants them a pass after what they’re starting to show promise.

This season really isn’t about winning for the Timberwolves. The more wins they tally the better, but making the playoffs is most likely out of the question. The development of their core, on the other hand, is the key focus. And so far, they’re off to a great start.

Wiggins is averaging 20.9 points per game on 42.7 percent shooting, Ricky Rubio is improving his mid-range and recording 12.2 points and 8.1 assists, Zach LaVine is up to 13.9 points (3.8 more than last season in less playing time), while Towns is storming off with 15.4 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks. His footwork and range on offense has been excellent, while his defensive presence has looked advanced and confident despite his minimal experience. Having an all-time great like Kevin Garnett as a mentor certainly doesn’t hurt his growth either.

Minnesota have been surprisingly good so far, especially with their 10th ranked offense. As they continue to develop and gel over the season, they’ll blow past their total of 16 wins from last season by a mile.

Next: Memphis Grizzlies