Welcome to SB Nation NBA 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 drops right as the Wizards ... make the playoffs. WUT?
According to the most recent SB Nation Reacts survey, 35 percent of Wizards fans are confident the team is headed in the right direction. That’s down from 49 percent last week and 46 percent two weeks ago.
This sounds like a surprise to many fans. But I think this is simply a “market correction.” Some fans may have given their confidence as a sign of approval of the Wizards’ playoff run and “reset” expectations now that they’re in the playoffs.
To me, I still voted no on team confidence. While the Wizards may have made the postseason, they did so in the most painstaking way possible. They are barely in the Top-8 and had to go on a strong April and May stretch just to make the play-in round. A team with Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook shouldn’t have to fight this hard to barely make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.
That leads me to another question: which factor is the most important one before deciding whether to give your vote of confidence/no confidence to the Wizards? Ultimately, wins and losses were the top choice, followed by front office performance, head coach performance, owner perception and off-court news (both good and bad).
In general, the fan confidence has gone up and down as the Wizards went on winning and losing streaks. That said, the Wizards’ rise in team confidence has lagged a bit behind their results, likely due to fans’ displeasure of head coach Scott Brooks. From the comments and social media, I don’t see many fans giving a vote of confidence until he is out.
National Results: Fans help the game experience in the NBA Playoffs
As Wizards fans, this probably isn’t the best national topic to talk about because a Philadelphia 76ers fan dumped popcorn on Russell Westbrook yesterday, but we will talk about this through a national lens and not let one bad apple or two distort the general picture.
With the first round of the playoffs underway, the most noticeable difference in the games has been the addition of nearly full crowds. More than 50 percent of fans around the country said the inclusion of fans has significantly improved the viewing experience, only 16 percent said it hasn’t improved the experience at all.
Having fans in attendance provides at least the semblance of a home-court advantage. Just over a third of Wizards fans believe Washington would have finished the regular season with a better record had fans been in attendance all season long.
The New York Knicks series against the Atlanta Hawks is the next most popular choice, with 21 percent of the vote. Four percent of fans picked the Wizards series against the Philadelphia 76ers and this series wasn’t listed in the photo below.
Similarly, 26 percent of fans believe the Suns best display the characteristics of a successful team. Only half a percent picked the Wizards. That wouldn’t be surprising given how low fan confidence is among the fanbase and that they are the No. 8 seed in the East.
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