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NBA Standings 2012: Cavaliers Remain Among Bottom Dwellers In Eastern Conference

No one can accuse the Cleveland Cavaliers and coach Byron Scott of tanking their way through the end of the NBA season in order to improve their draft status. Injuries and inexperience have made tanking moot as the Cavs have slipped down the Eastern Conference standings in the last half of the season.

While Cleveland continues to compete for wins and surprise other teams with their effort they simply don't have the horses to notch wins against the better teams in the league while playing without point guard Kyrie Irving and big man Anderson Varejao. That leaves the Cavs currently in 13th place in the Eastern Conference, just percentage points behind the Toronto Raptors.

The Cavs have identical 10-19 records at home and on the road and with six of their final eight games against playoff teams, the prospects of the Cavs finishing with a winning flourish are slim, even if Irving returns to play later this week. The struggles facing Cleveland to end the season should expose a silver lining when it is time for the NBA draft lottery which should leave them in great position for the draft whether they win the lottery again or not.

For more on the Cleveland Cavaliers, head over to Fear The Sword. You can also read more about the NBA at SB Nation's NBA hub.

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