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Kings fan confidence slides as injuries pile up

Despite the wins, there’s some general skepticism about a team without its best backcourt players.

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Sacramento Kings v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

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

According to the most recent SB Nation Reacts survey, 35 percent of Kings fans are confident the team is headed in the right direction, a somewhat low number considering Sacramento just won three games in a row, and two by dominant fashion. However, not having a healthy De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton probably plays into that.

The fan confidence level is down from 46 percent last week but up from 30 percent the week before.

The Kings, like every other team in the league, are working through a non-stop schedule to end the season and are without three of their top six rotation players (plus Chimezie Metu!) in the process. But they’ve actually had it pretty good relatively speaking — two postponed games in the first half of the schedule led to one of Sacramento’s best stretches of the year, and the Kings haven’t had any instances of four games in five nights, or even four in six.

On the whole, however, more than two-thirds of fans around the NBA think the league tried to play too many games during this shortened season.

One major reason it’s believed the league was so adamant on finishing this early is because of the expected 2021 Olympics this summer, in which Harrison Barnes hopes to be on Team USA for the third straight major competition. However, only 44 percent of fans believe that’s a worthy reason for playing games at this pace.

As the season nears its end, one player has emerged as the front runner for the MVP award. 61 percent of fans nationally think Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokić is the league’s MVP. It’s likely of little concern to most fans that Jokić was unable to beat the Kings all season, though his numbers in those contests — 35 points, 12.7 assists, and 11 rebounds per game — were absolutely bonkers. 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 — another player who has failed to beat the Kings all season.

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. It’s too bad Sacramento didn’t win enough games for Haliburton to be in contention here.

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