Mar 30, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers center Tyler Zeller (left) and forward Luol Deng (right) defend a shot by Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (24) in the first quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN's NBA Power Rankings: Cavs Soaring


 

The Cleveland Cavaliers have made this season a interesting one. The #SeasonOfHuh is now in its final couple of weeks and the Cavs have made it interesting. The team is 3 games back of the final playoff spot, and only 2 games back in the win column. They have the easiest, it seems, schedule compared to the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks. They have also competed well over the last 2 weeks against a daunting schedule winning 4 of their last 5 with the loan loss to the playoff bound Brooklyn Nets.

That has also seen them rise up ESPN’s Power Rankings:

18
Cleveland
30-45
4
Last Week: 22
At what point do we just change the name to the Nine Lives Conference? The Cavs are still alive for a playoff berth in the East thanks to a scrappy 4-4 run without Kyrie Irving … and with just one .500-or-better team left on the schedule after 11 such teams in March. And Kyrie might even be back soon.

The level of respect given to the Cavs by Stein is huge. Playing well without Irving is a sign of the team buying in to Mike Brown‘s system. Who knows it may even be possible that the Cavs could play a spoiler in the Playoffs if they get the slumping Indiana Pacers. The team has youth, a veteran swing man in Luol Deng, and added big man shooter Spencer Hawes to shooters Irving, Dion Waiters and Jarrett Jack. C.J. Miles and Anthony Bennett will also join Irving in coming back from injury.

Could the Cavs be putting it together at the right time? Could their surge lead to a big time free agent seeing Cleveland as the next up and coming team? Has Mike Brown “saved” his job, the one many fans have called for him to lose? Will Deng want to stick around? How much has Hawes earned himself? Either way a much better discussion then the draft lottery one we have been so accustomed to having at this time over the past few years.

What do you think, are the Cavs the 18th best team in the league? Do you think they pull off a playoff spot? Did you, like many, give up on the team a few weeks back? Did you, like this writer, always see hope?

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers ESPN Power Rankings