Welcome to another edition of SB Nation’s NBA Reacts. This week, our poll asked fans a few questions that are now an immediately pressing issue for the Dallas Mavericks. Fans answered questions about the NBA’s COVID-19 guidelines.
Currently, three players—Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Josh Richardson—are under league-mandated health and safety protocols due to exposure to COVID-19. So naturally, these matters are on the top of the minds of MFFLs everywhere.
Of the three players, one tested positive for the virus while the other two tested negative but are quarantining because of contact tracing. We don’t know which of the players tested positive yet. That brings us to our first poll result.
According to fans, the NBA’s guidelines and regulations regarding contact tracing are fair. In fact, the fan vote was overwhelmingly positive. Eighty-nine percent of those polled think the process is fair.
This parlays into the next question nicely. Fans “trust the process” of contact tracing and because they do, almost the exact number—88 percent—think that it will play a big role during the season.
It’s clearly playing a big role for the Mavericks right now. The two players quarantined because of it will miss at least seven days. That means their earliest return could be January 15, when the Mavericks face the Milwaukee Bucks on the road, after missing three games.
In the final poll, fans reacted to the absence of fans in arenas. It’s an eerie and unsettling experience to sit in the American Airlines Center, which normally houses 19,000 fans, and watch an NBA game. The players think it’s weird too.
Yet, this is part of the modern NBA landscape. But it does come with some ramifications. According to the majority of fans, the empty arenas kill any notion of home court advantage.
During interview, at least some of the Mavericks note that they can’t feed off the energy of the crowd in order to gain or keep momentum. So, the effects are tangible.
If you would like to lend your voice to the ongoing NBA conversations at SB Nation, be sure to sign up for the weekly Reacts poll. It’s quick and easy to answer, and best of all it’s free!