NBA Power Rankings: Are the New York Knicks equipped to take down Boston Celtics?

Are the New York Knicks the second-best team in the Eastern Conference at the midway point of the season?

Minnesota Timberwolves v New York Knicks
Minnesota Timberwolves v New York Knicks / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
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17. Los Angeles Lakers

Heading into the NBA Trade Deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers are a team to keep a close eye on. As it currently stands, the Lakers are not good. They certainly have a talented roster but this is a team that is underwhelming so far this season. They clearly need a move to jump-start them but at this point, that's a lot easier said than done. It's easy to say that the Lakers found such a move at last year's NBA Trade Deadline but it would be foolish to expect a copy of what transpired in the second half of last season.

And maybe that's the Lakers' biggest issue right now - that perhaps those in the front office believe that this team is going to be able to flip the switch heading into the second half of the season. For as good as LeBron James and Anthony Davis still are at this stage of their careers, it's hard to imagine the Lakers making a strong push up the West standings without making some sort of change.

Los Angeles is 10th in the West standings and four full games out of the sixth seed. If the Lakers don't tread carefully, this is a team that could find themselves in an untenable situation in a couple of weeks.