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NBA Standings 2012: Cleveland Cavaliers Could Be A Playoff Team

The Cleveland Cavaliers lost a NBA record 26 games in a row last year and won just 19 games, but two top five picks later and they are a serious threat to make the playoffs.

If the season ended today (it doesn't), the Cavs would be in as the Eastern Conference's No. 8 seed at 5-6 and a game ahead of the 4-7 Milwaukee Bucks. They would have the honor of playing the 12-2 Chicago Bulls, who they play next week Friday.

Cleveland's turnaround is largely due to an improved offense, directly impacted by the No. 1 overall pick Kyrie Irving, who leads the team in scoring (17 points per game) and assists (5.1 assists per game). No. 4 overall pick Tristan Thompson leads the team in blocks (1.3 blocks per game).

I don't think fans expected this quick of a turnaround, but if the Cavs keep playing as they have through the first fifth of the season, they should be doing some heavy flirting with the playoffs just a shortened season after achieving ultimate futility.

For more on the Cleveland Cavaliers, go to Fear The Sword. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NBA hub at

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.