How the Cleveland Cavaliers compare to conference rivals post All-Star Break

Philadelphia 76ers v Cleveland Cavaliers
Philadelphia 76ers v Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages
1 of 3

The Cleveland Cavaliers have proven a lot this season by battling through devastating injuries, but everything regarding their reputation in the NBA revolves solely around the approaching postseason.

After a spirit-crushing loss in five games to the New York Knicks in last year's first round, nothing the Cavaliers can do in the regular season can alter their peers' perceptions of them. Though Cleveland held homecourt advantage, they quickly squandered it and allowed a team which was later torn apart in the following round to make them look foolish.

The Cavs made savvy moves in the offseason by adding Max Strus and Georges Niang to the roster to address their three-point shooting and shallow depth. Dean Wade and Isaac Okoro have emerged and elevated their games on both ends of the court to help the Cavaliers reach the second seed in the Eastern Conference. Both of Cleveland's surprise successes of the season Craig Porter, Jr. and Sam Merrill have done their part, too.

Entering this playoff run, the Cavs are undeniably constructed for a much better chance for success. Cleveland's superstar Donovan Mitchell is not only as dominant as last year, but he is getting even better at passing, rebounding and defending. Alongside Spida, Evan Mobley is adding a smoother jump shot and improved confidence to his game. If the Cavaliers can continue their league-leading net rating from the past 15 games, there is not a single team that should shake their confidence in the postseason.

The Eastern battle to reach the Finals will not be easy, regardless of the Cavaliers' recent leap. While their current second-place position will give the Cavs a much easier matchup in the first round, they are bound to face a rival who presents serious tests of Cleveland's resilience eventually. With only 29 games left in the Cavs' regular season, the playoff standings are beginning to form. The Cavaliers are entering the home stretch toward the transition from an 82-game season to a 16-game season. Cleveland needs to be ready for anything and any team.

The current other top-five teams in the Eastern Conference include the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers. If the Cavaliers go head-to-head with any of these teams, how do they compare?