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NBA Power Rankings 2012: Cavaliers Rank 19th

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.

The Cleveland Cavaliers sat at the very bottom of the Eastern Conference with a 19-63 record in 2011, but they are ahead of eight teams from the East in this week's SB Nation NBA Power Rankings.

The Cavaliers ranked 19th overall, and Tom Ziller is impressed with the top overall choice in the most recent NBA draft, Kyrie Irving.

Kyrie Irving is damned good. After that forgettable Game 1 debut, he's averaging 18 points on 50 percent shooting and five assists as Cleveland has been better than expected. The Cavs could crawl over .500 with wins over the Bobcats and Warriors, but the Bulls, Hawks and Heat are the subsequent three opponents.

Cleveland might be headed even further up in the rankings, as they improved to an even 6-6 on the season with a 102-94 road win over the Charlotte Bobcats this afternoon, on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

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.

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