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NBA standings watch: Cavaliers still looking to make move

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Kyrie Irving's injury trips up Cavs move up the standings

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers might have the NBA's best net efficiency rating over the past 50 days or so, but it hasn't completely paid off in the Eastern Conference standings just yet. A combination of two missed games from Kyrie Irving, one missed game from LeBron James, and eight missed three throws Sunday from James led to two losses heading into tonight's matchup with the Boston Celtics.

The Cavaliers would currently be the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference with homecourt advantage over the Washington Wizards. The team is 1/2 a game behind the Chicago Bulls, and 1 1/2 games behind the Toronto Raptors.

Eastern Conference
EASTERN W L PCT GB HOME ROAD DIV CONF PF PA DIFF STRK L10
1 Atlanta 47 12 .797 - 27-4 20-8 9-2 31-8 102.6 96.4 +6.3 Won 4 7-3
2 Toronto 38 22 .633 9 ½ 21-10 17-12 10-2 26-11 104.5 100.6 +3.9 Won 1 5-5
3 Chicago 37 23 .617 10 ½ 18-13 19-10 6-4 21-13 101.3 98.5 +2.7 Lost 1 7-3
4 Cleveland 37 24 .607 11 22-9 15-15 6-5 23-12 102.4 98.8 +3.7 Lost 2 6-4
5 Washington 34 26 .567 13 ½ 21-10 13-16 6-6 23-16 98.7 98.1 +0.7 Won 1 3-7
6 Milwaukee 32 27 .542 15 17-11 15-16 5-6 21-15 97.9 96.4 +1.5 Lost 2 5-5
7 Miami 26 33 .441 21 11-17 15-16 4-8 18-17 94.0 96.8 -2.8 Won 1 5-5
8 Brooklyn 25 33 .431 21 ½ 11-15 14-18 7-5 14-20 96.5 99.4 -2.9 Won 2 5-5
Indiana 25 34 .424 22 14-14 11-20 5-5 17-16 96.0 96.7 -0.7 Won 2 8-2
Charlotte 24 33 .421 22 13-16 11-17 7-4 18-16 94.4 96.8 -2.4 Won 1 4-6
Boston 23 34 .404 23 14-16 9-18 7-4 14-19 101.6 102.7 -1.1 Lost 1 6-4

On the one hand, it doesn't sound that hard to move up less than two games in the standings. On the other, the Cavs have been in about the same place for a couple weeks now and haven't been able to make a move. You could argue the Raptors and Wizards finish with easier schedules than the Cavaliers. If the Cavs can hold serve tonight at home with the Celtics, they travel to Toronto tomorrow night. That qualifies as a big game.

Really, the Cavs just have to stay within 2, 2 and half games of Toronto between now and March 12. The Cavs schedule really opens up at that point. We will see if they can do it.