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NBA.com GM survey predicts another big season for Heat, LeBron James

Oct 22, 2013, 11:22 AM EST

San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat - Game 7 Getty Images

The annual NBA.com GM survey is pretty much a spot check on the conventional wisdom around the NBA. It’s not the place you see daring picks or gain deep insight. It’s generally a lot of guys picking the favorite.

This year’s survey shows the conventional wisdom is “good luck beating LeBron James the Heat.”

In the survey just released by the NBA, 75.9 percent of GMs picked the Miami Heat to win the NBA title, with the Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs each coming in second with 6.9 percent of the vote. Even more GMs picked the Heat than last season, despite how hard a three-peat has proven over the years.

Also, 69 percent of GMs picked LeBron to win his fifth MVP trophy. Kevin Durant received 24.1 percent of the votes to come in second, with Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul getting votes as well.

The entire survey was a LeBron love fest. He was picked as the player that forces the most adjustments by the opponent (66.7 percent), the player GMs want to start a franchise with (89.7 percent, Durant was second and Kyrie Irving third), and best small forward in the NBA (86.7 percent).

Orlando’s Victor Oladipo won going away for Rookie of the year with 80 percent of the vote (with Trey Burke down he is the big favorite now). GMs also picked him to be the best player out of this class five years from now.

One area where GMs seem divided is who comes out of the West: San Antonio won with 40 percent, Oklahoma City had 36.7 percent and the Los Angeles Clippers were at 20 percent. (Houston got 3.3 percent; GMs are not buying in there yet.)

Other things that were not a surprise include Tony Parker being selected as the best international player, Chris Paul being named the best point guard, Gregg Popovich being names best head coach and the coach that runs the best offense, and Golden State being named the team that is the most fun to watch.

But there were some interesting notes:

• GMs picked James Harden as the best shooting guard in the NBA (56.7 percent), with Kobe Bryant second (20 percent) and then Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Paul George tied (6.7 percent) and Dwyane Wade sixth. Durant got hurt in these polls because it’s not easy to define his position.

Dwight Howard won best center in the NBA going away (65.5 percent) with Marc Gasol second.

• Howard was also named the best defensive player in the NBA in the poll, with LeBron second. Best perimeter defender went to Tony Allen of the Grizzlies (36.7 percent) with LeBron James second, Paul George third and Avery Bradley, Andre Iguodala and Kawhi Leonard tied for fourth.

• GMs overwhelmingly like the Nets to beat out the Knicks for the Atlantic Division crown, with 75.9 percent of them picking Brooklyn.

• GMs see a virtual dead heat between the Pacers and Bulls in the Central division, with Indiana getting 51.7 percent of the vote to Chicago’s 48.3 percent.

Anthony Davis of the Pelicans was picked as the player most likely to have a breakout season (27.6 percent of the vote) with Andre Drummond of the Pistons coming in second.

• GMs picked Detroit as the most improved team in the league this year.

• Boston’s Kelly Olynyk was named the steal of the draft.

  1. thenmoveback - Oct 22, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Steelers4385 is a true piece of human trash.

  2. 1972wasalongtimeago - Oct 22, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    With every snap, this Dolphins season is getting me more and more excited about basketball season. Going to be another great year.

    • antistratfordian - Oct 22, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      sad-brofist.jpg

  3. dls612 - Oct 22, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    If you really feel that way you have major issues! I didn’t want to insult you because you might be really sick.

  4. ilovebaxter - Oct 22, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    Cheaters?!?! How’d they cheat???

  5. asimonetti88 - Oct 22, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    I can’t stand the Heat, but that’s messed up man. I hope someone dethrones them legitimately, through hard work. I can’t believe you’d wish injury on another person, let alone death.

    • rawgator06 - Oct 22, 2013 at 3:18 PM

      I have seen comments deleted that were much less inflammatory than hoping that an entire team dies. Mods, can you delete this trash?
      Also, you are an embarrassment to Steelers fans

      • Kurt Helin - Oct 22, 2013 at 8:56 PM

        That tasteless comment is deleted.

  6. emdawt - Oct 22, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    History shows us that it is tough for a NBA team to go to 4 straight Finals. Beasley could be a really nice addition but most 3 peaters add a savvy veteran (Ray Allen last year) to the team.

    Heat will get to the ECF but lose. I see Clippers vs. Bulls/Pacers.

    I also think Durant gets the MVP this year.

    • doc305 - Oct 22, 2013 at 4:47 PM

      History told us that it was near impossible to win two in a row, to make it to three straight finals, for an individual player to win more than two MVP’s in their career. History tells us many things, but it also tells us that incredible things can happen (Bulls winning 6 in 8 years/ Boston winning 8 in row)
      It is very difficult, but it has happened, History tells us so.

      Miami takes it this year and begin their quest to rewrite history and become only the second team in league history to win more than three in a row…

    • antistratfordian - Oct 22, 2013 at 4:48 PM

      Of course it’s tough to go to 4 straight finals. It’s tough to go to 3 straight finals. But here’s the problem with relying on history for your prediction: LeBron James is not human. He’s obviously not going to retire like Jordan did. He’s not lazy like Shaq was. He’s not inefficient like Kobe is. He’s a better defender than Magic and Bird. He’s special. The historic rules do not apply to LeBron (you should’ve been acutely aware of that by now).

      If any team can go to 4 straight finals it’s LeBron’s team with Wade & Bosh. The amount of talent they have now is legitimately silly.

      Their starting unit can be Chalmers, Wade, LeBron, Haslem, Bosh
      Their 2nd unit can be Norris Cole, Ray Allen, Shane Battier, Beasley, Birdman.
      Their 3rd unit could be Mason Jr., James Jones, Rashard Lewis, Joel Anthony, Oden.

      “We have,” Battier said after Sunday’s practice at AmericanAirlines Arena, “a video game roster.”

      “Or, as James previously noted, ‘We can bring in five guys off the bench and sit the whole starting lineup if we need to, because we have that type of talent.'”

      “I think this Miami team could (win 70 games). They’re talented enough to do that. They may not be deep enough quite yet or have all their persons in place and teamwork just down, but if they stay together, they have a good chance. They have a very talented team.” – Phil Jackson, 2010

      Phil Jackson’s prophecy may just come true in 2013-14.

  7. antistratfordian - Oct 22, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    Wow. Talk about loading up on bad karma. If you know this person, please be careful and keep your distance – the universe is going to conspire against him.

  8. leahcima1 - Oct 22, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    It’s not easy being a loser your whole life. You best turn yourself into the authorities so you don’t hurt yourself.

  9. gettinbuckets513 - Oct 22, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    @steelers4385 YOU ARE A DEVIL!!!!

  10. thetooloftools - Oct 22, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Does this mean LeBron James is going to have another baby with Sharon Reed he won’t own which is why he got married?

  11. zoomy123 - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:30 PM

    Everybody knows this 1 fact: If Dwyane Wade is healthy (80%+) in the playoffs, no one else has a snow ball’s chance in hell of winning. At this point, the only thing anybody else can do is pray that Wade’s knee gives out.

    • antistratfordian - Oct 22, 2013 at 8:01 PM

      Eh… I don’t know. I think the Heat could probably still win without Wade. That forces LeBron to be more engaged and the offense just seems to flow better. Whenever Wade misses games the Heat are nearly unbeatable. Also this:

      “…the most glaring stat in the first six games against the Spurs was that the Heat were minus-56 on the scoreboard with James and Wade playing together and plus-48 when James played and Wade didn’t.”

      • zoomy123 - Oct 22, 2013 at 8:26 PM

        You’re interpreting the data incorrectly. The problem was that Wade was injured and when LBJ tried to defer to an injured Wade, Wade wasn’t able to deliver because of his injury. On the other hand, if Wade was healthy then LBJ + Wade would have tag-teamed the Spurs like they did to the Pacers in the ECSF in 2012 when Bosh was injured. The only reason why there was such a huge disparity in +/- was because of Wade’s injury.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:21 PM

        I’m not really interpreting any data. I’ve watched every single game these guys have played together. Injured Wade or not, generally the Heat’s offense around LeBron flows better if Wade was replaced by a three point shooter.

        As it is LeBron will kick it to Wade who is open for three – but he won’t shoot it – he’ll put the ball back on the floor looking for ways to get inside or to get off his long jumper, or keep swinging the ball. That doesn’t really help if he’s open on the catch.

        Against the Pacers in 2012 you’re only talking about three games. I think it helped both LeBron and Wade that Bosh wasn’t around – two’s company, three’s a crowd – but they also knew that each of them had to do more. LeBron averaged 33/11/8 and Wade averaged 33/7/4 over those three games – but that’s a very small sample. And that’s the only time that has happened between them – they can’t both sustain that for long periods simultaneously (LeBron kept his 30/10 up for that entire playoffs, but Wade was all over the map).

        In general, I’d say the Heat perform better with LeBron, Bosh + 3 shooters. Which is basically surrounding LeBron with 4 shooters. Which is essentially a nightmare for any other team.

      • zoomy123 - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:43 PM

        You just made an entire post about +/- but you’re not interpreting any data? Fascinating…

        First of all you have no empirical evidence to justify your belief that the Heat would be better off without Wade (or at least you haven’t provided any here). I don’t care about your beliefs or opinions; I care about evidence. You’re doing nothing but cereal box analysis.

        And if you call 21-6-5 in the 2012 ECF and 22-6-5 in the 2012 NBA Finals “all over the map,” then maybe you need a new map.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 22, 2013 at 10:27 PM

        The entire post wasn’t about +/- that was just a sentence.

        You are not going to accept any sort of evidence contrary to your opinion so what’s the point? I can tell that you’re primed with excuses so it’s not worth it. It also is not worth it because Wade is my 2nd favorite player in the league after LeBron and I get nothing by reducing him here.

        But I’m calling it like I’ve always seen it and there is plenty of data to back it up. You can go to +/- or Offensive Rating or Defensive Rating or even just wins and losses (the ultimate data point). The Heat have never suffered with Wade out.

      • zoomy123 - Oct 23, 2013 at 2:42 PM

        In the first post you claimed that the Heat could probably still win without Wade and the evidence you tried to use to back up this claim was +/- (from 1 post-season when Wade was injured). So, that +/- evidence was essentially what your entire post was predicated on.

        Second, you provide absolutely no legitimate evidence to support your position, and then when I point out that you haven’t provided any evidence you claim that I won’t accept any evidence?! LOL! On what grounds do you claim there’s no evidence I would accept? You haven’t provided any evidence so there’s no way to know if I would accept or reject it.

        Third, the fact that Miami is able to win (REGULAR SEASON GAMES) without Wade is NOT evidence that Miami is better without Wade. All it means is that even when Wade is out Miami is still better than 90% of the teams in the league because they still have Bosh + James. Hell, in Cleveland LBJ’s team was trash and they were still winning 50-60+ games a year.

        You’re engaging in what’s known as a post-hoc fallacy: just because B comes after A doesn’t mean that A caused B. In other words, just because Miami wins when Wade doesn’t play doesn’t mean that Wade’s absence is the reason why Miami wins.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 23, 2013 at 3:01 PM

        You see… this is what I was talking about. I told you to chill cause I’m a huge Wade fan – don’t feel like arguing about Wade – and you still go off with the excuses. You’re going to force me to make Wade look really bad because of pride – and I don’t really want to do that.

        But I will if I have to! Or we can just agree to disagree and leave it at that.

      • zoomy123 - Oct 23, 2013 at 3:22 PM

        I really don’t care if you make Wade look bad, lol. My position is that you can’t. You don’t have any evidence to support your position that Miami is better without Wade. NOTHING. Outside of him being severely limited in this post-season there’s not a single time that Miami may have been better without him.

        And we can take it all the way back to the 2011 NBA Finals when LBJ choked and Wade averaged 26-7-5.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 23, 2013 at 5:36 PM

        ”I really don’t care if you make Wade look bad, lol”

        Well I do! :) I don’t want to have to unholster my 2011 finals anti-Wade argument right before this glorious season starts. That’s such a downer. I’ll wait until a 3-15 Wade again misses ill timed long jumpers at the end of a close game that Miami loses – he’ll say some body part was bothering him and take the next 4 games off and Miami will win all of them – the #TradeWade stuff will start on twitter again – people like you will bring up 2011 – and then maybe I’ll unleash it at that time, when it’s more appropriate.

        ”Outside of him being severely limited in this post-season there’s not a single time that Miami may have been better without him.”

        Well Miami is 27-5 when LeBron plays and Wade doesn’t (0-2 when Wade plays and LeBron doesn’t). 32 games is not really a small sample size. That winning percentage is 12 points better than their games together.

        I thought you were a Heat fan that actually watches their games, but I’m realizing that you are not. I should inform you that Miami always looks great when Wade doesn’t play. They’re like a different team.

        LeBron has more pep in his step under those circumstances, and his PER is mind boggling when Wade isn’t out there. In 2012 when LeBron played 14 games without Wade his PER was insanely up above 34 (note that the highest ever posted was 31.7 from Jordan and LeBron). Alongside Wade his PER was around 25. Miami was 13-1 in those 14 games.

        A recent microcosm of that effectiveness is the 4th quarter in Game 6 vs the Spurs. Wade did not play a single second during that comeback as LeBron-sans-headband was going HAM and the Heat were running the Spurs off the floor. Wade checked back in very late in the 4th only after Miami had regained the lead – they then proceeded to squander it.

      • zoomy123 - Oct 25, 2013 at 1:50 AM

        I’m beginning to wonder if you know what rational thinking is. The question is NOT: Does LBJ have a higher PER when Wade doesn’t play? The question is NOT: Does Miami still win when Wade doesn’t play? The question is NOT: Is Miami a better team with LBJ but without Wade as opposed to with Wade but without LBJ?

        The question is this: Is Miami a better team WITHOUT WADE THAN WITH WADE?

        The fact that Miami is able to win REGULAR SEASON GAMES without Wade only shows that Miami with LBJ + Chris Bosh is still better than 90% of the NBA. This does not prove that Miami, as a whole, is a better team without Wade. (P.S. Did you forget Miami’s 27 game winning streak WITH Wade?!)

        The fact that LBJ has a higher PER without Wade only shows that LBJ must carry more of the load because Wade isn’t there to help pick up the slack. This only shows that without Wade LBJ can be an extremely efficient player, BUT this does not prove that Miami, as a whole, is a better team without Wade.

        So, you’re providing evidence, but the evidence you’re providing does not support the particular claim you’re making. Again, the question is this: Is Miami a better team WITHOUT WADE THAN WITH WADE? Try to answer THIS question.

        And just like LBJ didn’t need Wade to come back on the Spurs in game 6, Wade didn’t need LBJ to close out the Spurs in game 4.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 25, 2013 at 3:48 AM

        “The question is this: Is Miami a better team WITHOUT WADE THAN WITH WADE?”

        That’s not my question, that’s your question. And I don’t believe there is a yes or no answer to that – you can be right with either. It isn’t a black or white issue with Wade. It is with LeBron, but it isn’t with Wade or Bosh (because LeBron can actually do their jobs better than they can, while still doing his own).

        Remember the two main points from my initial post were: 1) “Whenever Wade misses games the Heat are nearly unbeatable” and 2) “The Heat could… still win without Wade.”

        So it really doesn’t matter if certain metrics say they’re better or worse without Wade if those two things are true. And the first point is irrefutably true (I believe it would still trend true in the playoffs), the 2nd point I believe to be true based on factors already discussed. So there’s your answer.

  12. ProBasketballPundit - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    You should probably stick to NBA 2K14 so you can always win. Real sports are gonna be tough for you to deal with. Probably the real world too… just stay inside.

  13. ProBasketballPundit - Oct 22, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    Am I crazy for thinking the Warriors are on the edge of contending in the west? Iggy is a huge addition and if they got a healthy season from Bogut (unlikely I know) they could really challenge the Spurs or Clippers. Of course if I was the GM I would try to trade David Lee for Omer Asik or a better, sturdier center and then start Harrison Barnes at power forward where he thrived in the playoffs.

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