The Cleveland Cavaliers have lost 18 of their first 23 games and they own the third-worst record in the NBA heading into the action on Thursday. Budding superstar Kyrie Irving recently returned to the lineup, but this task seems too tall even for a top young talent like Irving.
The East is undeniably weak this season, especially in the bottom half of the playoff bracket, but it would take a superhuman effort from Kyrie to lift the Cavs from the basement to the eighth seed by the end of the season. The Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls figure to improve drastically when Danny Granger and Derrick Rose return, and other eighth seed hopefuls like the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers simply boast more depth than Cleveland has to offer. It should be fun to see what type of damage Irving can do, but that damage will be done while the Cavs play spoiler.
Here is a look at the teams the Cavs are chasing in the East. You can get a more comprehensive version of the NBA standings here.
|1||New York Knicks||16||5||0.762||-|
|2||Miami Heat||14||6||0.7||1 ½|
|7||Milwaukee Bucks||11||9||0.55||4 ½|
|8||Philadelphia 76ers||12||10||0.545||4 ½|