Cleveland Cavaliers stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love have joined teammates Tristan Thompson and Timofey Mozgov as Cavs ranked among the league's best by Sports Illustrated.
Irving, who was ranked No. 21 overall last year, came in at No. 23 overall this year - one spot in front of Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and one spot behind Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh. Love, was ranked seventh last year, came in at No. 17 overall ahead of players such as Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler and behind the likes of Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green and New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony.
Love's drop is one that may not be his own fault. As the post points out, Love's numbers went down last year in his first year with the Cavs and headed into last season, Love was coming off perhaps the best single season of his career.
Irving, meanwhile, dropped after having the best season of his career. Some of that has to do with who was ranked ahead of him this year vs. last year - Green, Washington Wizards guard John Wall and Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins all jumped over Irving in the rankings - but Irving still is ranked amongst the top-25 players in the league. With LeBron James assumed to be ranked in the top-10 - and assumedly near the top, if not on top - the Cavs have three players ranked in SI's top-25 and five in the top-100. Only the Oklahoma City Thunder - with No. 25 Serge Ibaka and assumed top-10 players Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant - can say that, although the Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers have players in Klay Thompson and DeAndre Jordan respectively that are right on the edge of the Top 25.