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NBA Power Rankings: Cavaliers Movin' On Up

Each week we'll take a look at the Power Rankings from around the web. For a team like the Cavaliers that started at the bottom of most lists coming into the season it will serve as a guage to see just how far this team is coming in a short time.

The first Rankings we'll look at are John Hollinger from ESPN. He does his a bit different than most, using statistics to come up with a rating. Teams are then listed according to that rating. Hollinger's rankings are updated daily, as well, different than the weekly rankings that most people put out.

Here is a brief description of Hollinger's method:

Scoring margin
One of my goals was to create a system that told us more about a team's quality than the standings do.

Strength of schedule
Yes, this matters in the NBA, too. It is not as profound in the pro game as in the college game, because the 30 NBA teams are more evenly matched, but it still affects a team's results.

Recent performance
Another key variable in the formula is recent performance, which I included for two reasons.

First, it stands to reason that more recent games are more valid indicators of how strong a team is currently.

Second, I wanted these rankings to follow the model of Marc Stein's "human" power rankings, on the site each Monday, in which a team's recent play is a huge factor.

Home and road
The final variable here is home and road games.

Where does that put the Cavaliers today?

#21

The ranking puts Cleveland ahead of teams like Oklahoma City and Charlotte - teams that made the playoffs last season and didn't lose their best player.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.