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NBA Power Rankings: ESPN Has Celtics #1, Cavaliers at #22

Marc Stein of has a bit different look to his power rankings this week. It isn’t the undefeated New Orleans Hornets on top, but the Boston Celtics at 8-2. His reasoning seems solid enough, the Celtics only losses have come on the road on the back half of back-to-back games, including to the Cavaliers in October.

Of course, the Hornets do have something to hold on to, as Stein explains:

Fun factoid to keep the Hornets in Dreamland, even after they finally lose one: The last team to take an L in each of the past three seasons (Celts in ’07-08, Lakers in ’08-09 and Celtics in ’09-10) all made it to the Finals.

The Lakers, Spurs and Jazz round out the Top-5.

The Cavaliers dropped four spots in Stein’s rankings, from 18 to 22. He also reminds us just how long it has been since the team has lost four games in a row at The Q:

The post-LBJ Cavs have already seen some happier days than many of us envisioned, with three straight road Ws in addition to the big Boston win. Yet they’ve also lost four in a row at home for the first time since March ’03.

Still, Stein has the Cavaliers ranked the lowest of all the 4-win teams.

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