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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23. Utah Jazz

Heading into the second half of the season, the Utah Jazz are a team to keep an eye on. It's almost as if something began to click for the team in mid-December. Since December 13, the Jazz is 12-4 entering Friday night's action. They've managed to climb up to tie the Los Angeles Lakers as the 10th seed in the Western Conference standings. For a team that many believed to be a seller heading into the trade deadline, that may no longer be the case.

Who knows if the Jazz will be able to keep this level of play up, especially as their schedule stiffens up over the next couple of weeks, but there are some encouraging signs that are taking place with the Jazz right now. The talk surrounding a potential Lauri Markkanen trade has died down significantly and there's hope once again beaming around Utah.

I still believe the Jazz could end up trading away a veteran or two at the deadline but you can bet that how the team performs over the next couple of weeks will certainly define whether they operate as a true seller or not.