It is polling season, and NBA general managers chimed in on one, predicting that the Miami Heat will win a second consecutive championship led by LeBron James, who they said through their votes would reign again as the league’s MVP.
According to nba.com’s annual survery, released Monday, 70 per cent of the GMs picked the Heat to go back-to-back. The Los Angeles Lakers, with additions Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, received the second-most votes at 23 percent, while only percent picked the Oklahoma City Thunder to win after their loss to the Heat in last year’s Finals.
The Heat were virtually the unanimous pick to win the Eastern Conference, getting 29 of the 30 possible votes. Because teams cannot vote for themselves in any category, the Heat apparently gave their vote to the Boston Celtics as the pick in the East. The Lakers got 60 percent of the vote to be the favorites to meet the Heat in the 2013 Finals.
James got 67 percent of the votes for MVP. The Thunder’s Kevin Durant was picked as second-most likely with 30 percent.
Perhaps the most interesting item revealed in the results was the impression James left by playing power forward during the Heat’s run to the title last year.
James was voted as the league’s best small forward for the seventh consecutive year but also was voted by the GMs as the third-best power forward behind the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kevin Love and Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki. James likely will play the most minutes of his career at the power forward position this season.
Top overall draft pick Anthony Davis of New Orleans got nearly 77 percent of the GMs’ vote as te favorite to win rookie of the year. Damian Lillard the Portland top pick who has been the most impressive rookie in the preseason, was second with 20 percent.
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich, the 2011-12 coach of the year, clearly has the esteem of the entire league. Popovich was selected as the best coach, the best motivator and the coach who makes the best in-game adjustments.
The Lakers were picked as the team that had the best offseason, and the top two offseason moves that were voted to have the most impact were the Lakers’ signing of Nash and Howard
With 62 percent, the Brooklyn Nets — who traded for guard Joe Johnson and re-signed Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace, were selected as the most improved team.