Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NBA. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged in Portland Trail Blazers fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts.
According to the latest SB Nation Reacts survey, 95 percent of Trail Blazers fans are confident the team is headed in the right direction. That’s up from 87 percent last week and 37 percent two weeks ago. After stuffing the Denver Nuggets 132-116, it stands to reason that Rip City is still riding that high into facing them in the first round of the playoffs.
Every team still playing for the NBA championship has their season on the line in some capacity each game. However, some teams are backed into a corner more than others. The play-in tournament games are high-stakes, with one team advancing to the NBA playoffs and one team having its season ended.
Fans around the NBA think the Golden State Warriors have the best chance of advancing beyond the play-in tournament, with 81 percent believing the team will win one of their games. They are followed by the Los Angeles Lakers, who have 80 percent of fans that believe they will win a game. That closeness in confidence reflects in the end result: the Lakers beat the Warriors 103-100 to advance to the playoffs.
It was a battle between LeBron James and Stephen Curry, but James came out victorious, despite the fact that if forced to pick between the two, nearly three-fourths of fans believe Curry is more dangerous in an elimination game than James.
The first of the Eastern Conference play-in tournament games were played Tuesday night with the Boston Celtics earning the first bid into the playoffs after beating the Washington Wizards. 61 percent of NBA fans believed the Celtics would advance, falling only behind the Wizards team they beat, which took 78 percent. The Indiana Pacers received the least amount of votes, with only 24 percent, but lived to fight another day after beating the Charlotte Hornets.
The Hornets loss ended their season, but it’s not the end of exciting times in Charlotte. Point guard LaMelo Ball was picked by 52 percent of NBA fans as the player who should win the Rookie of the Year award. Ball beat out Minnesota Timberwolves’ top pick Anthony Edwards 36 percent and Sacramento Kings rookie Tyrese Haliburton who earned 12 percent.
The Los Angeles Lakers will face the Phoenix Suns in the first round. The Golden State Warriors will play for a chance to face off against the Utah Jazz and center Rudy Gobert. The Jazz star was the top pick among fans, with 49 percent of the vote, to win Defensive Player of the Year.
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