Thank you for your responses to this week’s SB Nation NBA Reacts survey. In this post, we will go over the weekly survey results just for Washington Wizards fans.
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Wizards results: 95% of fans are confident in the team!
First, I want to apologize that the survey closed early, presumably to line up with the national questions. But we had over 150 people fill out the survey, which tells me that we’re getting a consistent group to vote on these surveys nevertheless. The survey closed around yesterday afternoon, before the Wizards’ 97-94 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Every week, I don’t just ask if you are confident in the Wizards. I also ask why. We have a lot of the same responses, like “depth, new coaching and the offseason.” These were the same reasons again this week, and rightfully so since Washington had a 7-3 record and were coming off a win against the Milwaukee Bucks, the defending NBA champions last Sunday. (Again, this survey closed BEFORE the Cavaliers game).
So this week, I wanted to share some of the responses that also show more context into why people gave their vote of confidence (or not). Here is one fan who has come around, possibly from being skeptical to being a believer.
I was skeptical because it seems like the Wizards aren’t a championship team but are also not a lottery team [at the present time.] But maybe in a year or two, our young guys can develop and we might accomplish something.
Same with this one.
I know it’s REALLY early, but this team actually has the looks of a championship contender. Probably not this year, but under Wes they’re developing quite nicely.
And here’s another.
They are doing a better job defending the paint and giving up fewer easy baskets to opponents. Coach Unseld is a man with a plan to have his team play defense and he has had them ready to go for every game so far.
There is one fan who is skeptical but still voted his or her confidence in the Wizards’ direction anyway.
I am wavering... Obviously my confidence is on the upswing... but this team has fooled me before.
That leads me to a natural transition to the few fans that are (still) not confident in the Wizards. So why? Besides the usual responses of “I want Ted Leonsis to sell the team” or “Past franchise history,” here are the trends I saw with multiple respondents:
- Davis Bertans’ poor start — He is only averaging 6.1 points per game this season and shooting just 34.2 percent from the field.
- Small sample size: An 7-3 record is great but there are still 72 games to go. After all, the Wizards have been first place in the East in the middle of the season back in 2006-07, only to barely make the playoffs due to injury. Even if the survey closed today, I don’t think it would have changed the sample size that much.
- The Wizards are dependent on a strict D.C. indoor vaccine mandate NOT happening — Again, if it happens, Bradley Beal is going to miss games, which will put the season in limbo. This is something most of you supported in the first week of the season. And it’s possible Kyle Kuzma will also miss games with this.
Here is the best response that can sum up why some are still skeptical.
Bradley Beal’s vaccination status is a definite concern. If he tests positive, this could trigger a negative ripple effect with the NBA’s Tracing guidelines. Because of Beal’s vaccination status combined with the Olympic debacle, include the mysterious shoulder injury that caused him to miss the Bubble.
If I were Tommy Sheppard, I would be looking for a trade partner. The Wiz are the only team that tolerates Beal’s nonsense. The Houston Rockets benched John Wall and are eating his $40 mil contract while he sits on the bench. If he was still with the Wiz, the Wizards would have never benched him.
Finally, Ted Leonsis has not shown he is willing to commit the financial resources necessary to consistently contend in the Eastern Conference. Ted has shown he will authorize a fire sale before paying a Luxury Tax while going to the Lottery. With a SuperMax contract on the table for Beal, Bryant and Harrell need to be re-signed, exceeding the Cap in the upcoming years is possible, will Ted bail out again if things go South?
When Ted shows he is serious about winning ballgames, then and only then will I be confident the Wizards are headed in the right direction.
Most fans believe Bob Dandridge’s No. 10 jersey should be retired
Bullets legend Bob Dandridge was named to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this year, and was also honored last Sunday when the Wizards hosted the Bucks in a ceremony where he was honored in all ways but seeing his No. 10 jersey in the rafters. In our survey this week, most of you thought the Wizards should retire his number.
It isn’t unheard of for a team to retire the same number twice, as NetsDaily has pointed out.
The Yankees retired No. 8 to honor both Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra, their Hall of Fame catchers from different eras. So there's a precedent. https://t.co/06w8f1oIZZ— NetsDaily (@NetsDaily) November 11, 2021
Come on Ted! Let’s get it done!
Resilience is the mantra of this year’s Wizards team with “Next Man Up” not far behind
In our final question of this week’s survey, we asked what was the mantra, or the identity of this team. 37.3 percent of the respondents said “Resilience,” which is a theme that head coach Wes Unseld, Jr. and numerous players have said time and time again after each Wizards game, win or lose. After all, the Wizards have found ways to win games late or in overtime, often coming from behind.
In second place was “Other” with 25.3 percent of the responses, but respondents gave their own slogans which I’ll share later. Of the other choices that didn’t require a fill in the blank response, “Next Man Up” was the next most selected response with 23.3 percent. This makes sense because it’s another theme that has been discussed during Wizards media sessions. In addition, players like Montrezl Harrell (above), Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope have stepped in and thrived when other players like Deni Avdija, Thomas Bryant and Rui Hachimura were or are still unable to play.
DCFamily, which was the Wizards slogan back in the 2016-17 NBA season had 14 percent of the responses.
Going back to the “Other” responses, here were some of the fill in the blank responses I found most catchy or fitting:
- Fire (offense) and Ice (defense)
- It’s a collective
- I am my brother’s keeper
- Prove them wrong!!!
- We play defense now
Our next survey will be out on Monday. Thanks again for your responses in SB Nation NBA Reacts!
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