It's tough to find a group of people who know the NBA more than the league's own group of general managers. For the tenth year in a row, NBA.com surveyed all 30 GMs to get their take on the state of the league, and 74.1 percent think the Miami Heat will win the NBA Championship. They also think LeBron James has a good chance of snagging the league MVP award.
Yes, 74.1 percent think the Heat will win it all. Does that mean much? Well, last year 63 percent thought the Lakers would win, and, well, we saw how that worked out. The Oklahoma City Thunder are given just over a 14 percent chance to win. The Thunder are also the favorites to win the Western Division and take on the Heat in the championship.
Meanwhile, 96.3 percent think the Heat will win the East. The likely reason that it's not 100 percent? GMs were not allowed to vote for their own team or players in the poll, so Pat Riley was likely forced to give a pity vote to the Bulls. Though, in reality, that pretty much means every single GM thinks the Heat will repeat as conference champs. That's up from the 70.4 percent who thought the Heat would win the East last year.
In addition, 44.4 percent think LeBron James will be named MVP. His only competition is the Thunder's Kevin Durant with 55.6 percent. Durant was also the favorite in the poll last year, but ended up losing to Derrick Rose.
LeBron, by a wide margin, was also named the best small forward in the league. Dwyane Wade comes a close second after Kobe Bryant in the shooting guard poll.
Elsewhere, Norris Cole came in first for the question "Which rookie is most likely to be a 'sleeper' success?" and tied for fourth place in the question "Which rookie most athletic?"
In other tidbits:
- 33.3% think the Heat are the most fun to watch (first place)
- 46.2% think LeBron is the most athletic player in the league, 53.8% think he's the most dangerous on the open floor (first place)
- Surprisingly, 42.3% think LeBron is the best finisher. Dwyane Wade took second place in that category. Did they watch the Finals last year? The Heat have the two best finishers in the league? Really?
- LeBron and Dwyane Wade each racked up 14.3 percent for "best at getting their own shot" (a tie for third)
- 11.5% think the signing of Shane Battier was the most underrated off-season move.
- 14.8% also think Battier will someday make a great head coach.
- Erik Spoelstra only got a few single votes in coaching categories.