NBA Power Rankings 2012: Cavaliers Rank 21st

For more on the Cleveland Cavaliers, go to Fear The Sword. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NBA hub at SBNation.com/NBA.

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NBA Power Rankings 2012: Cleveland Cavaliers Drop After 5 Losses In A Row

Even with Kyrie Irving back in the lineup, the Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the Washington Wizards, a team that had lost seven consecutive games. Now, the Cavs are riding their own five-game losing streak and dropping spots the latest weekly power rankings.

SB Nation's own Tom Ziller has Cleveland ranked 21st, while Marc Stein of ESPN moved the Cavaliers down three spots this week to No. 24. Here's what Stein had to say about the Cavs:

The deep, dark secret of Cleveland's season is that as much as they want Kyrie to flourish and develop the way he has, management won't be crushed to have another high pick in June. Which is the sort of thinking that is surely nursing the Cavs through their first five-game skid of the 2011-12 campaign.

While Cleveland seemed to have outside shot at sneaking into the playoffs before the All-Star break, the Cavaliers surely appear headed to the lottery once more this season.

For more on the Cleveland Cavaliers, head over to Fear The Sword. For more on the NBA in general, go to the SB Nation NBA hub at sbnation.com/NBA.

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2012 NBA Power Rankings: Cleveland Cavaliers Rank 23rd In Tom Ziller's Latest Edition

Despite the stellar play of rookie point guard Kyrie Irving, and having played the last six games in the friendly Quicken Loans Arena, the Cleveland Cavaliers dropped two spots in the weekly power rankings of the esteemed Tom Ziller of SB Nation.

Here's what Ziller had to say about the Cavaliers:

23. Cleveland Cavaliers 12-17 W: IND, SAC; L: MIA Fear the Sword
Who cares about wins and losses? LeBron is coming back! Right?

Ziller's comment, thought meant to be humorous, is quite telling of the state of affairs in Cleveland. Aside from Irving, and the recently injured Anderson Varejao, there isn't anything truly noteworthy about the Cavaliers. Cleveland is just 3-3 in its last six games, which were all home games.

Luckily for the Cavs, the next three games are also at home, with the next two coming against No. 21 Detroit and No. 29 New Orleans. Also, Irving proved he is fully recovered from the concussion that sidelined him for three games by sinking the game-winning free throws Sunday night against the Sacramento Kings. As Marc Stein of ESPN said in his weekly power rankings:

It wasn't the sort of dazzling drive he delivered to beat Boston and Dallas, but Kyrie's two FTs with 0.4 seconds left Sunday night to finish off Sacramento marked the third time in Cleveland's past five victories that the rook -- after missing three games due to that concussion -- served up the Cavs' game-winning points.

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NBA Power Rankings 2012: Cavaliers Rank 21st

For more on the Cleveland Cavaliers, go to Fear The Sword. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NBA hub at SBNation.com/NBA.

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