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SBNation Reacts: The NBA’s condensed schedule isn’t very popular

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Phoenix Suns v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Scott Cunningham/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 Atlanta Hawks fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts.

The entire NBA is working through virtually a non-stop schedule in 2020-21, and that is true of the Atlanta Hawks. While the team is finally going to enjoy a three-day break after Thursday night’s tilt against the Indiana Pacers, the topic of the league’s condensed schedule is still very much at the forefront beyond Atlanta.

According to the latest SB Nation Reacts survey, more than two-thirds of fans around the NBA think the league condensed the schedule too much.

It certainly isn’t surprising to see this, and that is backed up by anecdotal evidence, both in our comments (fire away below) and on social media. If anything, it was expected to potentially benefit the Hawks as a team with a great deal of depth entering the season but, considering all of the team’s injuries, it is a major credit to Atlanta to withstand the gauntlet to this point.

The league was reportedly considering a number of factors with the schedule, but one potential reason the NBA 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, and that also tracks with the relative lack of buzz surrounding that usually signature event.

The MVP race

As the stretch run arrives, one player has emerged as the front runner for the 2020-21 NBA MVP award in most circles, and that is backed up by our SB Nation Reacts survey.

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.

Given that the Hawks dispatched the Suns in decisive fashion on Wednesday in Atlanta, seeing Paul’s name this prominently associated with MVP may seem a bit odd. Quite honestly, though, Jokic appears to be the runaway winner of the award, even down to the betting markets.

Jokic isn’t seen as the best player in the world at this juncture, at least in this survey. That title, according to fans, still goes to Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James.

Going back to Phoenix, Paul’s re-emergence with the Suns has been a game-changer, and that is undeniably true even after the team’s hiccup on Wednesday in Atlanta. The point guard — who is also the president of the NBPA — was picked as the player who has made the biggest difference on their new team, far surpassing Brooklyn’s James Harden.

Of course, this list doesn’t feature players like Bogdan Bogdanovic or Danilo Gallinari, which may be some incentive for Hawks fans to be a little more engaged with the SB Nation Reacts surveys. As a reminder, Clint Capela technically isn’t eligible since he was acquired during the 2019-20 season and, well, his absence would be egregious otherwise.

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