Welcome to the latest batch of SB Nation Reacts results. This is the first of two parts because I’m still waiting on the results from some additional questions just for you, Washington Wizards fans. But in the meantime, let’s share the results we have on Wizards fan confidence and the national questions regarding the NBA All-Star Game.
Wizards fanbase results: Fan confidence skyrockets (sort of) after three-game win streak
Fan confidence was at a season-low 10 percent in last week’s survey. But in the week since, it has nearly doubled to 19 percent. It’s pretty easy why, because there are some of us who are fickle, ready to say “BLOW IT UP AND FIRE EVERYONE!” after any one bad loss. And they are quick to say “EXTEND SCOTT BROOKS FOR LIFE!” after every hard-fought win.
Okay, maybe I went a bit overboard with the extremes. But you know what I mean. Fan confidence has gone up, in part because the Wizards went 3-1 in the one-week time frame before this past survey ended.
With the exception of a bad 109-91 loss to the New York Knicks last Friday (Félicitations pour ta victoire Madame Stéphichou Lahaye. Ik weet dat je dit artikel uit Mons leest!), the Wizards went on a three-game win streak, two of them against clear playoff-contenders in the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets, plus a revenge win against the Houston Rockets in John Wall’s first trip back to Washington since he was traded last December. I know, the wins didn’t happen in that order.
The Wizards, like it or not, are starting to play more like the team we were hoping to be in the preseason. After all, I infamously predicted they would finish seventh in the Eastern Conference and make the Round-of-16 in the playoffs. And as of late, they’re starting to play like that. Washington has also gone 6-5 in their last 11 games.
It’s also important that we give some shoutouts to two key players who have stepped up in the past week.
First, Davis Bertans has started to get back into midseason form. He has shot at least 75 percent from the field in each of his last two games, including a 35 point performance last Wednesday against the Nuggets where he shot 9-of-11 from three!
Bertans is now shooting 37.8 percent from three after a poor start. He should get back to normal before too long.
Second, Russell Westbrook deserves a shoutout. He’s been criticized by Wizards fans for being a waste of cap space because the team happened to win most of its early games without him. After shaking off a leg injury earlier this season, he has played in all four of Washington’s games last week and even got triple doubles in each of Washington’s last two wins.
Westbrook is still turning the ball over too much (since he has a career-high TOV% of 19.7% this season!!!) and had eight last Wednesday. He is still taking too many threes. But he has been part of the Wizards’ success and he’s looked better in the past week too.
And I almost forgot, but Skull Dog made sure I gave him some love as well. Moritz Wagner has also played well during this stretch when he played significant minutes. He scored averaged about 23 minutes in both the Celtics and Rockets games last Sunday and Monday, respectively where he scored in double figures each time. Since Wagner wasn’t offered an extension this season, there is plenty of reason for him not to be motivated to play hard for Washington. But instead, he’s doing quite well when given a shot to play for longer stretches.
That said, I still voted no about team confidence because the three-game win streak doesn’t override the 3-12 start. And even if you want to write off the Wizards’ four-game losing streak after their coronavirus outbreak in January, that’s still a 3-8 start before the outbreak.
It shouldn’t take a team two months to get into an okay rhythm if they are looking to make the playoffs. The Wizards weren’t the only team trying to dodge COVID-19 and integrate players with an abbreviated training camp. Everyone was in the same situation.
National results: Fans pick some different guards for the Eastern and Western Conference
In the national section of the survey, fans were asked who would be their All-Star starters. They were consistent with the actual teams last Thursday, but each conference had a different guard. Jayson Tatum was on the East instead of Kyrie Irving. And in the west, Damian Lillard was there instead of Luka Doncic. Here are the lists.
- Bradley Beal (Wizards)
- Jayson Tatum (Celtics)
- Kevin Durant (Nets)
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks)
- Joel Embiid (76ers)
- Stephen Curry (Warriors)
- Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers)
- LeBron James (Lakers)
- Nikola Jokic (Nuggets)
- Kawhi Leonard (Clippers)
Fans were also asked which player among a list of four up-and-coming players should be an All-Star altogether. New York Knicks forward Julius Randle narrowly beat out Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine.
I’ll share some more of the Wizards’ results in a separate post later today. To sign up for SB Nation Reacts, click on the link below.