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NBA Power Rankings 2012: Cleveland Cavaliers Drop After 5 Losses In A Row

Even with Kyrie Irving back in the lineup, the Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the Washington Wizards, a team that had lost seven consecutive games. Now, the Cavs are riding their own five-game losing streak and dropping spots the latest weekly power rankings.

SB Nation's own Tom Ziller has Cleveland ranked 21st, while Marc Stein of ESPN moved the Cavaliers down three spots this week to No. 24. Here's what Stein had to say about the Cavs:

The deep, dark secret of Cleveland's season is that as much as they want Kyrie to flourish and develop the way he has, management won't be crushed to have another high pick in June. Which is the sort of thinking that is surely nursing the Cavs through their first five-game skid of the 2011-12 campaign.

While Cleveland seemed to have outside shot at sneaking into the playoffs before the All-Star break, the Cavaliers surely appear headed to the lottery once more this season.

For more on the Cleveland Cavaliers, head over to Fear The Sword. For more on the NBA in general, go to the SB Nation NBA hub at

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