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T-Wolf Talk: Is February The New January?

Ethan WeiserCorrespondent IFebruary 6, 2010

First off, just admire the picture. What amazing photography.

Remember the Timberwolves' January last season?

The Timberwolves had a 10-4 record over the course of their first month in 2009, and an impressive five-game winning streak.

This year, the Timberwolves opened February with a 2-0 record and a four-game winning streak that started during January.

Will this be a similar "one (month)-hit wonder" that the Timberwolves had last year?

Well, last year the Timberwolves had some relatively easy opponents. They beat Golden State, Chicago twice, Memphis, Oklahoma City, Milwaukee twice, Phoenix, Los Angeles (Clippers), and New Orleans.

They lost to Miami, Utah, Detroit, and Los Angeles (Lakers). They didn't beat out the worst teams in the NBA exactly, but few of them were in the playoff run.

This February, the Timberwolves will face Dallas (win), Memphis (win), Philadelphia, Charlotte, Detroit, Washington, Chicago, Oklahoma City twice, Miami, Atlanta, and Portland

While Oklahoma City and Charlotte are becoming the surprise rising teams in the NBA, Philadelphia is really struggling, Washington is a mess, Detroit can't figure out their team, and Chicago is full of trade rumors. Still, they aren't facing off against the best of the league, and a large number of wins seems feasible.

One of the keys to success has been Ryan Hollins. He has started all four games of the Wolves' current streak. 

He has also put up some impressive numbers in most of those games. However, his really productive trait is working well in a lineup with Al Jefferson.

There has been a longtime debate over whether Jefferson and Love can play well together. Hollins starting four games and turning them into wins has to make you wonder about that.

Although at the beginning of the year, people thought the same of Damien Wilkins, but that theory has been disproven. We think.

Al Jefferson has been our statistically best player in the past four games, according to ESPN's formula for how well a person has played (PTS + REB + 1.4*AST + STL + 1.4*BLK -.7*TO + FGM + .5*FGM -.8*(FGA-FGM) + .25*FTM - .8*(FTA-FTM)).

The ranking of who has played the best statistically in all four games looks like this:

  1. Al Jefferson
  2. Kevin Love
  3. Ryan Gomes
  4. Jonny Flynn
  5. Corey Brewer
  6. Ramon Sessions
  7. Ryan Hollins
  8. Damien Wilkins
  9. Wayne Ellington
  10. Oleksiy Pecherov
  11. Sasha Pavlovic

But it's pretty close. Al and Kevin have both played extremely well, and are obviously somehow keys to the Wolves winning.

We just don't know how yet.

So the Timberwolves will just go on playing the basketball they've been playing the past week or so, and hopefully, it will be another month to remember, just like last year.

A quick little fact I just found: The Timberwolves average more technical fouls per game than their opponents that night.

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