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NBA MVP 2012 Power Rankings: Kyrie Irving Cracks MVP Rankings

The Cleveland Cavaliers are having a fairly mediocre season right now, but have looked far better than they did in 2011 thanks in part to the heroics of rookie Kyrie Irving. Irving is playing well beyond his years right now and is the first rookie to appear in SB Nation's 2012 NBA MVP Power Rankings this season.

9. Kyrie Irving Cavaliers 17.4 points on .589 TS%, 4.8 assists Unranked
Let's give the rookie some love: the Cavs look much better than last year's version (which had decent players at point guard in Mo Williams, Baron Davis and Ramon Sessions), and much of that is due to Irving's excellent offensive contributions. The last rookie to score at least 17 points with a True Shooting percentage of .575 or better was Tim Duncan. The last rookie guard to do it? Michael Jordan.

Being compared to NBA greats like Tim Duncan and Michael Jordan might be a bit much this early in the season, but I'm sure that the Cavaliers won't complain if Irving continues on the blisteringly hot pace that he's currently on. Irving is the best hope that Cleveland have seen since Lebron James and if there's any chance that the Cavs make it to the playoffs in this lockout shortened season, it's going to be through Kyrie's hands.

For more on the Cavs, check out Fear The Sword.

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