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NBA Standings 2012: Cleveland Still In The Playoff Hunt

In what was expected to be another rebuilding year the Cleveland Cavaliers are still in the playoff hunt as the NBA season reaches the quarter pole. Cleveland has played 15 of 66 games and carries a 6-9 record. While they are well behind the Bulls and Pacers in the Central Division, they are ahead of the Bucks and Pistons, allowing them to sit in third place.

In terms of the playoffs, Cleveland is right in the hunt for a playoff berth. If the season ended today, Cleveland would be the No. 8 seed in the East. They are tied with Boston at 6-9 for seventh, with New York and Milwaukee within a game of them.

As expected, there are some positives and negatives according to Fear the Sword:

#2 Kyrie Irving: A/B+

Why does Kyrie Irving get two grades? Well the first mark is grading him on a rookie scale. For a rookie that has played just 13 games in the NBA? He's been phenomenal. Spectacular, even. He leads all rookies in PER and is averaging 17.7 points per game to go along with just over 5 assists. I'm tempted to give him an A+, but his defense has been less than ideal up to this point. His willingness to work and get better lead me to believe that his defense will improve significantly as the season goes on.

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.