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NBA Power Rankings - A Summary from Around the 'Net - Jan. 4 Edition

By George Thomas Published: January 4, 2010

From's John's Schuhmann who ranks the Cavs No. 2 in the league currently behind the Los Angeles Lakers:

The Lakers lost big to the Cavs and Suns, and then needed another Kobe Bryant buzzer-beater to beat the shorthanded Kings. The Cavs looked like the best team in the league until they faltered at home on Sunday. Missing Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, the Celtics lost three straight before beating the Raptors on Saturday. And the Magic have been inconsistent all season.'s Marc Stein sees things a bit differently as the Cavs, who were No. 1 in his rankings last week, hold on to that top spot:
The Cavs gave their rivals an opening by losing a home game Sunday night to one of the league's worst road teams.
None of those rivals, though, is in any condition to take advantage.
Cleveland tops the new decade's first edition of's weekly NBA Power Rankings in spite of that rare home defeat to Charlotte as everyone in the league's elite is dealing with injuries and/or inconsistency.
Don't forget that the Cavs also swept a home-and-home with Atlanta in their last act of 2009 to ensure that they hold on to No. 1.'s other fine writer of note, John Hollinger, also ranks the Cavs No. 1 despite the fact that they took a hit against Charlotte Sunday evening.
I have much respect for Schuhmann, but I lean toward Hollinger and Stein with this one. It may have been the season to be jolly, but inconsistency was the norm during the holiday season.  During the stretch the Cavs, whose seven-game win streak just ended, was the most impressive team.  That streak was the longest running in the NBA.   As of this wrting the team that holds that mark is the 14-17 Chicago Bulls.
Still the Cavs are struggling offensively and their  most significant test lies before them: their longest road trip of the year to Denver, Portland, San Francisco, Salt Lake City and back to Los Angeles.
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