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SB Nation NBA Reacts Week 3: Wizards fan confidence continues to increase due to hot start and new coaching

Montrezl Harrell is our new fan favorite here in Washington.

Toronto Raptors v Washington Wizards
Montrezl Harrell swept the week’s awards for Washington Wizards fans.
Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

Thank you for your input in this past week’s SB Nation NBA Reacts survey. If you haven’t signed up yet, click on the link below to do so.

Wizards results: Fan confidence hits a brand new high of NINETY-ONE PERCENT!

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When over nine in ten Wizards fans, or about 150 respondents are confident in the direction things are heading in, something’s going right.

Why? As you might have expected, I saw the usual bunch of fans saying that Wes Unseld, Jr.’s arrival as head coach and Tommy Sheppard’s management of the team, especially this past offseason where the depth increasd as why. They remained the top reasons among the confident respondents. But here are some other reasons that you wrote as to why you are confident.

  • Two people specifically mentioned Montrezl Harrell. We’ll get to him later.
  • One fan specifically wrote “Beal’s shot will fall and go back to the mean. Once that happens it will open up so much more for this offense.” When you think about it, this season has been a tough one for Beal, who is shooting just 40 percent this season and was lower than that when it started. Considering that the Wizards were 5-1 before last Monday’s game and are 6-3 now, that’s a very good thing.
  • Ten people mentioned improved defense for their votes of confidence. Before their losing run this week, they were in the Top 10 for overall defensive rating. Even then, there is an increased commitment on that end of the floor.

Of course, some fans said that they weren’t confident. Here’s why besides team history:

  • Discontent with Ted Leonsis as the face of team ownership. Multiple people have mentioned Leonsis’ position as why they are not confident in the Wizards since the season started. Some folks in the comments have openly wanted him to sell the team. Besides a piece I wrote in June 2019, whom do you think would but the Wizards, assuming Monumental Sports & Entertainment wants to get rid of their most valuable asset? That’s very unlikely to happen.
  • There is no clear direction when it comes to making Washington a championship contender. Again, multiple people mentioned this as a reason as to why they are skeptical. While Washington did start off on the right foot, it’s unlikely that they will be in the Eastern Conference Finals or NBA Finals on paper. What do the Wizards do in the offseason to make that next step if and when that happens?

Montrezl Harrell sweeps MVP and the DAWG awards for this past week!

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It wasn’t close. Harrell won 72 percent of the vote for this past week’s MVP award. He also won the DAWG award with 79 percent of the vote.

From Oct. 25 to Oct. 31, Harrell averaged 20 points and 11.3 rebounds per game by averaging 60 percent shooting from the field. He has played primarily off the bench in that time as well.

Harrell’s best performance was against the Atlanta Hawks on Oct. 28, 2021, in a Washington win when you can see him making timely blocks and hustling for dunks.

No other Wizards player, not even Beal could come close to Harrell’s vote totals this past week.

The Wizards’ City Edition uniforms get more “A’s” than any other grade.

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After Washington’s City Edition jerseys were revealed last Monday, we received mostly positive reviews from the community in the comments. That certainly continued to apply to the survey results. A plurality (39 percent) gave the uniforms an “A.” Of the remaining choices, 31 percent gave them a “B” and 16 percent gave them a “C.”

Overall, I think the new City Version jerseys give a respectful mashup of their uniforms from multiple eras. But I am going to be a contrarian based on my grade because I gave them a “C” for it.

While the Wizards’ franchise colors have been red, white and blue for most of franchise history, it is very difficult to incorporate the “teal and gold” era of 1997-2011 colorwise without making it look like a distraction.

There are elements of that era on the jerseys WITHOUT ACTUALLY PUTTING ON THE COLOR GOLD, like the number font and the “DMV” logo. That alone dropped my grade of the jersey from what would have been a B.” The gold trim just looks a bit distracting, and not in a good way to my eyes.

National Results: Spurs City Edition Uniform jerseys are the best with the Raptors right up there with them

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Our national survey questions were also on the City Edition jerseys. The San Antonio Spurs’ jerseys were at the top of the list with the Raptors in second place, though they were also rounded up to 12 percent.

Personally, I don’t like the look of San Antonio’s jerseys at all. The turquoise, fuchsia and orange along with the traditional black and gray scheme work poorly to my eyes. But I’m just one person. And more importantly, I’m not a Spurs fan and would have my feet roasted at the fire for writing those last couple sentences. That’s because this color scheme was part of their “Fiesta” warmups from 1989-90 to 1996-97 during the heyday of the David Robinson Era.

Speaking about fanbases being biased for various designs, even if they may otherwise not be that attractive, the overwhelming majority of fans like their favorite team’s City Edition jerseys, 83 percent to be exact.

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That finding was confirmed by our specific question for a grade on the Wizards jerseys specifically.

Make sure you sign up with SB Nation NBA Reacts for weekly surveys and we’ll get our next Wizards survey up then as well where we will change something up.

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