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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13. Cleveland Cavaliers

There was a silent expectation for the Cleveland Cavaliers heading into the start of the season. After making the bold move for Donovan Mitchell two offseasons ago, many jumped on the team's bandwagon as one that could arise as a dark horse threat in the Eastern Conference. Through the first half of the season, the Cavs have struggled to live up to those expectations.

Despite all their early-season struggles, the Cavs aren't in a terrible spot heading into mid-January. Their season isn't all lost just yet.

With Darius Garland and Evan Mobley out, Mitchell has raised his game to keep the Cavs afloat in the Eastern Conference standings. Even without playing their best basketball this season, Cleveland is still ranked in the top 5 of the conference. That should be an encouraging sign for the team. If they can get healthy and find some rhythm during the second half of the year, it's not out of the realm of possibility to believe that they can go on a run and make a tangible move up the standings.