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SB Nation Reacts: Examining Surveys on NBA’s Best Player, Confidence in Bucks

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Some interesting results to say the least

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Brooklyn Nets v Milwaukee Bucks

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NBA. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged in Milwaukee Bucks fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts.

According to the most recent SB Nation Reacts survey 78 percent of Bucks fans are confident the team is headed in the right direction. That’s up from 50 percent last week and 67 percent the week before. Which makes sense, the certainty of what the Bucks can accomplish is going to vary game to game in some eyes. Beating the Sixers twice will get you to puff your chest out, only to think the sky is falling after a loss to the Houston Rockets. If you wanted a quick overview of Milwaukee Bucks fans this season, the image below will do a good job of it. It makes sense the confidence was at its highest right after the announcement of the Giannis Antetokounmpo supermax extension.

Milwaukee, like every other team in the league, is working through a non-stop schedule to end the season. 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. I’d agree, 72 games was already going to be a lot but trying to cram that in within a four-month span was going to make it more difficult, especially when it’s combined with more back to back and covid protocols and reduced practice time.

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. Plus we don’t know who’s going to be playing in these Olympics as it will depend on if the top stars opt out. This could impact Milwaukee, where Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday were part of a 57 player pool for the US Olympic squad.

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.

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. Giannis Antetokounmpo took three percent, which is insulting to Giannis who has had another strong case for MVP, but voter fatigue seems to be the biggest reason why he won’t receive more consideration.

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. 15 percent of NBA fans believe Antetokounmpo is the best in the world.

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. Chris Paul was someone Milwaukee was rumored to try and trade for, but getting Jrue Holiday has been a significant upgrade over Eric Bledsoe and has raised Milwaukee’s floor, which they needed. Jrue’s encouragement and urging has seen the Bucks add switching to their defensive gameplan.

To vote in the Reacts surveys and have your voice heard each week, sign up here.