The Cleveland Cavaliers remain near the bottom of most NBA power rankings after the first week of the season. The Cavs won their opening game against the Washington Wizards, but then lost two straight. As most power rankings came out on Monday, Nov. 5, they did not take into account the Cavs' win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday.
In Seth Rosenthal's rankings at SB Nation, Cleveland comes in at No. 25. Rosenthal says the Cavs' bench is their biggest weakness.
Kyrie Irving and Anderson Varejao are each splendid enough to win this team some games, but good lord, is that bench gruesome. Just unseemly.
Most other power rankings from around the web seem to agree with Rosenthal. At ESPN, Marc Stein has Cleveland at No. 26. He also compliments the play of Irving and Varejao while disparaging the Cavaliers' bench. The Cavs are No. 24 in Kurt Helin's rankings at Pro Basketball Talk and No. 26 in John Schuhmann's rankings at NBA.com. Both call into question Cleveland's bench play, with Schuhmann calling them the worst bench in the league for the first week of the season.
Cleveland's bench is already off to a better start this week, as the Cavs beat the Clippers 108-101 on Monday.