According to the most recent SB Nation Reacts survey, 88 percent of Clippers fans are confident the team is headed in the right direction. That’s up from 73 percent last week and a season low of 44 percent the week before.
On one hand, the Clippers have never gotten to the Conference Finals in franchise history, so of course spirits should be high, and they are. On the other, the Clippers are now staring down their third straight 0-2 deficit in a playoff series, so they’ve got work to do to keep the good vibes (and their season) going.
Beyond the Clippers fans, however, one thing was made abundantly clear by the latest survey: The Phoenix Suns have become America’s team. More than that, Devin Booker has made his star turn.
44 percent of NBA fans around the country said Booker is the most exciting player left in the playoffs, the highest vote percentage of any player. Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young took the second largest portion of the vote with 26 percent.
With Booker leading the way, more than three-fourths of fans picked the Suns to win the Western Conference Finals. The vote came in before Phoenix won Game 2 against the Clippers on Tuesday in a nail-biter.
The confidence nationally in Phoenix doesn’t end after the Western Conference Finals. A majority of national fans, 53 percent, believe the Suns are going to win it all.
The Milwaukee Bucks earned the second highest percent of the vote, with 33 percent. Before they reach the finals, Milwaukee will need to beat the Hawks, which a vast majority of fans expect.
While the likes of Booker, Young and Giannis Antetokounmpo have embraced their star-turn on the biggest stage, the same can’t be said for Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons. Following the Sixers Game 7 loss to the Hawks, Simmons took the brunt of the criticism. But a majority of fans think Simmons was being scapegoated.
That feeling may, in part, be due to the change of feelings around Simmons. Nearly three-fourths of fans don’t believe Simmons is a “star” in the current NBA.
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