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SB Nation NBA Reacts Week 5: Wizards fans remain very pleased with hot start, but some skepticism remains

The nation feels that the Wizards’ start isn’t a fluke either.

Washington Wizards v Charlotte Hornets
Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards are getting love from NBA fans nationwide. Or at least respect.
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Thank you for your responses to this week’s SB Nation NBA Reacts survey. To sign up for more surveys, click on the link below.

National Results: Most fans believe the Wizards are the team most likely to sustain their hot start, believe the Warriors are the NBA’s best team in the West

SB Nation

In our national survey, SB Nation asked fans which teams, including the Wizards, were likely to keep up their hot starts. Out of the respondents, 73 percent selected .... THE WIZARDS!

This isn’t the best day to post such a positive result given the loss last night to the Charlotte Hornets. But Washington has bounced back from losses very well this season and we have seen more good moments than bad over the past month.

The other question in our national survey was on which team was most likely going to win the Western Conference this season. 65 percent selected the Golden State Warriors, who have a 12-2 record.

SB Nation

Wizards results: 97% of fans are confident in the team, not as sure that they will remain a top team through November

SB Nation

In our Wizards fans-only survey, we found that 97 percent of respondents were confident in the team’s direction. Last week, fan confidence was 95 percent out of about 150 respondents.

We had over 300 respondents in this survey with the aforementioned 97 percent fan confidence figure, so thank you everyone for your responses!

As expected, the general reasons why fans are confident in the team is because of Wes Unseld, Jr.’s coaching, the increased roster depth. Furthermore, 16 fans stated that they are confident because the Wizards are winning games despite Bradley Beal not being in top form to begin the season. Here are some of the specific responses:

  • “They are proving they can win without Beal.
  • ”Wins without Beal.”
  • “5 wins in a row, competent coach, crazy depth this year with Bertans and Beal missing a few games and also no Rui or TB yet and not missing a beat.”
  • “Much more depth making up for when Beal struggles or gets injured.”

This isn’t to say that the Wizards are better without Beal. It’s just to say that they are still able to perform well without him.

There are some fans who remain skeptical of the Wizards’ success. Two mentioned that Beal and possibly Kyle Kuzma being unvaccinated against the coronavirus is why, though it appears unlikely that the D.C. government will put a vaccine mandate on indoor events since the mask mandate ends on Monday. In addition, some believe that Wizards were just beneficiaries of an “easy” schedule to begin the season.

But besides that, here are some of the more thoughtful (but also few) responses on why they feel that way:

  • “I remain hesitant about Sheppard’s draft acumen and concerned by the Wizards’ relatively light strength of schedule to this point. The success feels less like a fluke than it did before, but it’s entirely possible it still could be.”
  • “I would like to think that the supporting cast behind Beal is enough to win in the East. But I just see superior teams kicking into high gear when their top players come back like the Heat, Bucks, Celtics and Nets.”
  • “I am confident in the team, but as a lifelong Bullets/Wizards fan, I can’t help but have that feeling that it’s all going to come crashing down at some point. Whether it’s due to injuries, a flat-out cold streak, or plain old heartbreak, it always seems to happen to the Wiz.”

And this one response seemed prophetic so far, given that is was written on November 15 and the Wizards play the Hornets on Nov. 17.

  • “They can’t beat Charlotte or Miami.”

Our second question was where you see the Wizards in the East after ther rest of November’s games. Seventy-one percent expect the team to be in the Top-4.

SB Nation

This result could indicate that Wizards fans are skeptical about how sustainable their start is. But at the same time, the Wizards are essentially neck and neck with the Brooklyn Nets for first place in the Eastern Conference at the moment. One or two losses can drop Washington from first to third rather easily at this season’s early stage.

Thanks again for your responses, and our next survey will be out on Monday!

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