There is no denying that injuries have played a large role in the Minnesota Timberwolves' fall-off in the Western Conference standings. The Timberwolves were once primed to be able to make a run to the postseason. Now, they will struggle to even get in. But despite the injuries, it could be defense that is hurting them more than anything.
According to John Schuhman of NBA.com, the Timberwolves have seen a severe drop-off in their defensive play. This has made it difficult for them to overcome the injuries they've faced. Schuhman points out the team is 4-10 since December 16th. They have dealt with injuries off an on, but the consistent problem has been defense.
Kevin Love underwent surgery yesterday to repair a hand he broke for the second time. Ricky Rubio has been finding his way back after returning from major knee surgery. Brandon Roy is fighting to keep his career alive. And Chase Budinger is out after undergoing knee surgery.
Of course, losing key players and starters hurts, but the Timberwolves has struggled all around even when some of the players above were healthy. Since the middle of December, the team has ranked in the bottom five of defense in the league. They will have to improve this quickly if they want to turn things around.
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