Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NBA. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged in Washington Wizards fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts.
Wizards results: Fan confidence increases, but most still don’t have it
According to the most recent SB Nation Reacts survey ending on May 11, 46 percent of Wizards fans are confident the team is headed in the right direction. That’s up from 39 percent last week and 18 percent two weeks ago. The 46 percent figure is the second-highest all season.
We also asked respondents some questions which you could only find as a Wizards fan within the Reacts platform.
From my perspective, a 46 percent level of fan confidence is quite high. But outsiders may think that confidence is too low. But I’m a D.C. area local for my entire life. The Wizards have consistently been the least popular among the Big Four sports leagues in our area for the past decade, at least from anecdotes. I truly think that confidence at 46 percent is very high, even if the Wizards had a 12-5 April and if Russell Westbrook recently became the triple-double king.
Why would fans remain skeptical? This may be because of an anecdotal search on social media would indicate that fans remain loyal to the team but are very skeptical of Scott Brooks remaining as head coach, even though his late-game decisions led to two losses against the Atlanta Hawks earlier this week.
Speaking about Brooks and the front office in general, we assume that most fans separate their view of “confidence in the team” as opposed to how the Wizards are performing in the standings. Seventy percent of fans said that they separated the two. And it’s how I can reconcile a winning Wizards team with my dissatisfaction with the front office, in particular the coaching staff.
Now that we were able to find out why fans can seem happy with the recent winning trends while remaining adamant that Scott Brooks be fired, let’s take a look at two more questions we asked.
First, 88 percent of fans thought that Bradley Beal’s recent hamstring injury could prevent the Wizards from making the first round of the playoffs, even if they make the play-in. At best, he’s questionable as of Thursday night and the team lost two straight games to the Atlanta Hawks earlier this week.
Finally, we know. This is thinking ahead a bit too far. But nearly 60 percent of you preferred seeing the Brooklyn Nets as a first-round opponent. It’s going to be difficult for this situation to happen to say the least because they were 1.5 games behind the Philadelphia 76ers for the first seed as of 9 p.m. ET when I wrote this.
National Results: Randle is the MIP favorite, Coach Thibs should win Coach of the Year. Not our Coach Thibs (a/k/a Mike Thibault), because ... of course!
As the NBA Playoffs approach, the biggest surprise of the season is likely the success of the New York Knicks. For the first time since 2013, the Knicks have reached the postseason and they did so without a true superstar leading the team.
In place of a superstar, the team is led on the court by Julius Randle and head coach Tom Thibodeau. Both of whom fans believe will finish the season with an individual award. 69 percent of fans around the league believe Randle should win the 2020-21 Most Improved Player award. The next closest player, Michael Porter Jr., received 11 percent of the vote.
50 percent of national fans believe Thibodeau has earned the Coach of the Year award this season. Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams took 23 percent.
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