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NBA FanPulse Weeks 15 & 16: Fan confidence drops because of Wizards’ loss to Grizzlies

The Washington Wizards’ Feb. 9 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies significantly hurt fans’ confidence in the team, at least for the short term.

Memphis Grizzlies v Washington Wizards
The Wizards lost to the Grizzlies on Sunday in poor fashion, but that shouldn’t lower your confidence in and of itself....
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Hi everyone! I’m sorry I wasn’t able to write on NBA FanPulse’s Week 15 results last week. It was all about the NBA Trade Deadline. Even this week will be crazy because of the combination of NBA All-Star Weekend and an epic WNBA Free Agency season, unless you’re a Mystics fan (though we saw Leilani Mitchell sign with the team yesterday).

So let’s take a look at the Wizards’ fan confidence the last two weeks and go from there.

Wizards’ results: Fan confidence sinks in latest week due to one loss ... to the Grizzlies.

After week 15, it was another ... ho hum stable week in the confidence metric.

Week 15 NBA FanPulse results
SB Nation

But things dropped significantly to just over 50 percent this week.

Week 16 NBA FanPulse results
SB Nation

On the surface, fan confidence should be high. Washington won two games in a row. But as a reminder, these polls are released to your email addresses each Monday and a response has to be recorded by Tuesday.

The ultimate reason why fan confidence sunk is because the Wizards lost 106-99 to the Grizzlies last Sunday, squandering an early double-digit lead in the process. So when the fan confidence poll popped up the next day, it should have been no surprise to see some of you virtually punish the Wizards by saying that you lost confidence.

With a team as inconsistent, yet incrementally growing like the Wizards are, losses like last Sunday’s are to be expected. I know, I’m not a fan of Scott Brooks coaching this particular team, but I also wouldn’t demand his firing right after that loss.

Hopefully things will “correct” themselves in the next poll.

National Results: The Bucks are the NBA’s team to beat!

Week 16 national NBA FanPulse results
SB Nation

The Toronto Raptors may have won 15 games in a row before losing to the Brooklyn Nets last night. The Los Angeles Clippers made moves to bolster their roster at the trade deadline. And the Los Angeles Lakers are looking like the Lakers of old once again.

But the Milwaukee Bucks remain national fans’ top pick to win the 2020 NBA Finals.

As of games played through Feb. 12, the Bucks are 46-8, a significant 6.5 games ahead of the Raptors for the first seed in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee is also well ahead of the 41-12 Lakers to have homecourt advantage in the NBA Finals if they get there.

But there is still a perception about teams that win the most games in the regular season are also susceptible to postseason upsets. Personally, I also think the Bucks are the NBA’s team to beat.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is en route to a second NBA MVP award this season, averaging 30 points, 13.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. He is also making a career-high 1.5 threes per game at a rate of 31.3 percent. Yes, Antetokounmpo is no Elena Delle Donne when it comes to threes and free throws (where he’s only making 61.4 percent of his shots). But still, the Greek Freak is shooting more threes than before and making an okay percentage of them. If he can improve his shooting even more as the season goes on and into next ... WATCH OUT!

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