Nov 2, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Tristan Thompson (13) is guarded by Indiana Pacers power forward Luis Scola (4) during the second half of the game. Indiana won 89-74 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s NBA Power Rankings: Cavs and the Central Division


Nov 2, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving (2) drives towards the basket against Indiana Pacers point guard C.J. Watson (32) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

As we have with ESPN’s NFL Power Rankings we will review their NBA rankings throughout the year. Marc Stein tends to publish these on Mondays and we will evaluate there after. We will look at the Cavaliers rank as well as the rest of the Central Division foes they compete with.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Rank: 21

Thoughts: The Cavaliers had a strong showing out of the gate, against the star studded Brooklyn Nets, but since have fallen flat. The team struggles with offensive spacing giving little room for Kyrie Irving or Dion Waiters to attack the basket as they did last year. Defensively they have come on strong, which is not surprising given Mike Brown’s penchant on that end of the floor. The hope is that the offense can come together. Oh yeah and Andrew Bynum has played 2 of their 3 games and looked good in his limited minutes.

Central Division

Indiana Pacers

Rank: 1

Thoughts: ESPN notes the strong pre-season play of Paul George. The Cavs learned what teams learned last year in the playoffs: Indiana is really good. The Pacers have the muscle inside along with the athleticism in Paul George and Lance Stephenson. They currently rank 1st in points allowed.

Chicago Bulls

Rank: 9

Thoughts: The Bulls dropped 5 spots from their pre-season rankings due to a 1-2 start. ESPN notes the concerns on the team related to scoring as they currently rank 20th in points per game. Derrick Rose has looked good to great after returning from injury.

Detroit Pistons

Rank: 14

Thoughts: The Pistons start the season at 2-1 with some very balanced scoring with 6 players averaging double digits, not including the 1 game played by Brandon Jennings. Jennings injury is the only negative so far for the team as their only loss was in overtime to the tough Memphis Grizzlies.

Milwaukee Bucks

Rank: 27

Thoughts: The Bucks have struggled to a 1-2 start, while they have put up a fight to come from behind in 2 games their overall talent, especially on the offensive end, is limited. They currently rank 7th in points allowed but currently are led in scoring by Zaza Pachulia at 13 points a game. Figuring out minutes and rotation will be interesting for coach Larry Drew in his first season coming over from Atlanta.

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