Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NBA. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged in Philadelphia 76ers fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts.
According to the most recent SB Nation Reacts survey a full 100 percent of 76ers fans are confident the team is headed in the right direction. What else is new? That level of confidence has held steady for most of the season aside from a few dips. And really, why shouldn’t it? The Sixers have a legitimate superstar MVP candidate who can get a bucket on anyone in the NBA. They also have the NBA’s second best defense by defensive rating at 107.0, bested only by the Los Angeles Lakers at 106.8. Since Joel Embiid has been with the Sixers, they’ve consistently been stout defensively. But with Danny Green, Matisse Thybulle, and Ben Simmons manning the perimeter, this team will be a nightmare to play in a seven game series.
With the playoffs around the corner, the biggest surprise of the season is likely the success of the New York Knicks. For the first time since 2013, the Knicks have reached the postseason and they did so without a true superstar leading the team.
In place of a superstar, the team is led on the court by Julius Randle and head coach Tom Thibodeau. Both of whom fans believe will finish the season with an individual award. 69 percent of fans around the league believe Randle should win the 2020-21 Most Improved Player award. The next closest player, Michael Porter Jr., received 11 percent of the vote.
50 percent of national fans believe Thibodeau has earned the Coach of the Year award this season. Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams took 23 percent. Personally, I could give my vote to either of those two guys, though I lean Monty. What Thibs has done in New York is a borderline miracle considering the hand that he was dealt. The Suns are the feel good story of the season and to take a franchise that has become synonymous with losing and turn them into a no. 2 seed, 50+ team is extremely impressive.
As the Sixers have the East’s best record, you might expect Doc Rivers to have ranked in the top four of this poll. He did not claim enough of a share of the vote to do so, but I think it’s safe to say Sixers fans are happy with Doc’s first season as head coach in Philadelphia.
Be sure to sign up to participate in SB Nation Reacts polls. In our next batch of polls, we’ve included a few new questions to gauge the mindset of fans. To vote in the Reacts surveys and have your voice heard each week, sign up here.