The Cleveland Cavaliers are a playoff-bound team. Or at least that's one interpretation of their progress approaching the regular season's halfway mark.
With a potentially disastrous West Coast road trip complete, the Wine and Gold have finally returned to the friendly confines of The Q for a five-game homestand. Luol Deng will be making his home debut, and fans will have the opportunity to see firsthand the man who has single-handedly shifted the team's culture.
Make no mistake: This is not the same Cleveland squad that lost eight of nine games leading up to the new year. Its 3-spot, arguably once the worst position in the league, now features an All-Star-caliber player who can get his own shot and play defense.
Entering the second half of the season, it's clear that there's still work to be done. However, the Cavs have consolidated their mistakes and are primed to rise through the Eastern Conference ranks given the lessons observed by personnel and fans alike through the first 40 games on the year.
Unless otherwise noted, all stats provided by NBA.com and are current through Sunday, Jan. 19.