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NBA power rankings 2012: Cavaliers slowly climbing with Irving's return

The Cleveland Cavaliers are still near the bottom of all NBA power rankings from around the web, but the return of Kyrie Irving offers a bright spot.

USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers continue to struggle, having lost nine of their last 10 games, but it's not all bad for Cleveland. Kyrie Irving returned on Tuesday, Dec. 11, and led the Cavs to a win over the Lakers and continues to impress. As a result the Cavs are slowly rising in various NBA power rankings from around the web.

In Seth Rosenthal's power rankings at SB Nation, Cleveland comes in at No. 28. Over at ESPN, Marc Stein has the Cavaliers at No. 27 after being in dead last the previous week. Stein's colleague John Hollinger may have moved on to work for the Grizzlies, but his power ranking algorithm remains in place and has Cleveland at No. 24, their highest ranking among all the various power rankings. The Cavs come in at No. 27 in John Schuhmann's power rankings at NBA.com. Over at CBS, Matt Moore has Cleveland at No. 26. Nearly all of the power rankings mention Irving and his return as a bright spot for Cleveland.

Overall that gives the Cavs an average power ranking of 26.4.

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