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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26. Portland Trail Blazers

To say that this season hasn't gone as planned for the Portland Trail Blazers would be a massive understatement. After trading Damian Lillard, the belief was that the Blazers were in a great spot as they were jumpstarting their rebuild. With a solid core of Scoot Henderson, Anfernee Simons, Deandre Ayton, and Shaedon Sharpe, there was a strong indication that the Blazers were going to be one of the most exciting young teams in the league.

So far this season, that simply hasn't been the case for the Blazers. Instead, Portland has been one of the most inconsistent and worst teams in the league. Simons has only played in 17 games this season, Ayton is having one of the worst seasons of his career, Sharpe hasn't taken the full leap that many believed he would, and Scoot looks like a bust.

Again, it's early and a lot of this can change during the second half of the season, but this hasn't been an ideal first half of the year for the Blazers. I can't help but wonder what Joe Cronin would do if he had a mulligan of his offseason moves. He likely wouldn't admit much regret but it's hard not to second-guess some of recent decisions.