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 most recent SB Nation Reacts survey 37 percent of Trail Blazers fans are confident the team is headed in the right direction. That’s up from 17 percent last week and 35 percent the week before, which makes sense following the Blazers’ recent win streak and their 5-1 performance on their road trip with wins over the Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Portland, like every other team in the league, is working through a non-stop schedule to end the season, and they have some challenging games within their remaining schedule as they face the Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz, and Phoenix Suns before taking on the Denver Nuggets to finish the season on May 16th. With the end of the regular season scheduled to come May 16, the NBA is forcing teams to finish their schedule.
However, more than two-thirds of fans around the NBA think the league condensed the schedule too much.
One major reason it’s believed the league was so adamant on finishing this early is because of the expected 2021 Olympics this summer. However, only 44 percent of fans believe that’s a worthy reason for playing games at this pace. The increased pace has led to a number of injuries, especially for the Trail Blazers.
While the schedule is difficult for everyone, some teams are having more success than others. That’s in large part due to the success of star players around the league. This year’s MVP race has seen a changing group of players from start to finish, including the Blazers’ own Damian Lillard.
As the season nears its end, though, one player has emerged as the front runner for the award. 61 percent of fans nationally think Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokić is the league’s MVP. Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul was the next closest with 17 percent.
While Jokić appears to be the clear MVP, that doesn’t mean he’s considered the best player in the game right now. That title, according to fans, still goes to Lakers superstar LeBron James. Damian Lillard earned two percent of the total vote, showing that despite recent difficulties, he is still in the conversation as one of the league’s best.
Paul’s re-emergence with the Suns has been a game-changer. The point guard was picked as the player who has made the biggest difference on their new team, far surpassing Brooklyn’s James Harden.
We’ll see what happens next week as the Blazers play three games at home with fans in the Moda Center.
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