One thing was made abundantly clear by the latest SB Nation Reacts survey, the Phoenix Suns have become America’s team. More than that, Devin Booker has made his star turn.
Forty-four percent of NBA fans around the country said Devin Booker is the most exciting player left in the playoffs, the highest vote percentage of any player. Atlanta Hawk’s 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 Los Angeles Clippers or Atlanta’s Game 2 no-show against the Milwaukee Bucks.
This is the same Devin Booker, of course, that grew up in Grand Rapids and recently called Rip Hamilton one of his favorite players growing up. He called the Masked Man seeking advice on how to play with a mask on his face following a broken nose in Game 1.
Whatever that advice was didn’t work as Booker scored only 15 points on 5-of-21 shooting. We’ll see if he can bounce back tonight for Game 3 and make Pistons fans feel even worse for taking Stanley Johnson over him. Sigh ... Cade though!
The confidence in Phoenix doesn’t end after the WCF. 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.
To vote in the Reacts surveys and have your voice heard each week, sign up here.