Since their loss to the Houston Rockets, the Cleveland Cavaliers are on a five-game winning streak. With the next two games to be played at Quicken Loans Arena in front of thousands of cheering fans, the Cavaliers are expected to roll past the injury-plagued Brooklyn Nets and Charlotte Hornets.

While the Cleveland Cavaliers have played well in their last 5 games, one cannot forget their dismal performance during their first 12 games. So, what changed things for the Cavaliers?

LeBron’s tenacity

It’s an exaggeration to say that LeBron James has carried the entire team during the last five games.

Make no mistake – he’s always been a big part of the team; however, LeBron hasn’t done anything special during these five games. In fact, he averaged 26.0 points and committed a total of 20 turnovers during this period.

But what’s noticeable is LeBron’s defense moving closer to his level when playing in the postseason. Taking on bigger guys like Kristaps Porzingis and Blake Griffin in important late-game defensive stops somehow showed glimpses of what LeBron James did during the 2016 NBA Finals, and his tenacity seems to have spread to his teammates.

Support from the veterans

Korver and Frye have been consistent threats from the outside, giving Green and Wade enough space to attack the baseline.

Surprisingly, Jose Calderon managed to showcase his old form, at least during the Cavaliers’ game against the Detroit Pistons where he started at the point guard position. The 36-year old Spanish guard finished with 14 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal.

Key players

Aside from his dismal performance against the New York Knicks where he was manhandled by the towering presence of Kristaps Porzingis and Enes Kanter, Kevin Love has greatly contributed to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ cause.

Taking over as the starting center, Love has logged three double-double performances during the Cavaliers’ last five games.

He might be relegated to coming off the bench once Tristan Thompson comes back, but the contribution of Jae Crowder on the defensive end is invaluable. With Crowder joining the second unit, he can give enough minutes of rest to LeBron James, Kevin Love and even the recovering Tristan Thompson.

Improvement on defense

According to NBA Stats, the Cavaliers ranked eighth overall (100.8 defensive rating) during the last five games. That’s a major improvement considering they placed dead last during their first 12 games. The best example of this would be the game against the Detroit Pistons.

According to Bleacher Report, the Cavaliers have also improved defending against three-point shooting. During the Cavaliers’ first 12 games, opponents made an average of 13.6 shots from beyond the arc (41.1 percent), but, during the last five, opposing teams only made an average of 9.4 shots (31.3 percent).