Friday, October 26, 2007

NBA GM's pick Spurs to repeat

-Courtesy of the National Basketball Association

NEW YORK, Oct. 24, 2007 – For the fourth consecutive year NBA general managers predict the San Antonio Spurs will win The Finals in 2008, which would be their fifth NBA title in 10 years, according to respondents of the Sixth Annual GM Survey.

The exclusive survey, providing fans with an inside look into the minds of NBA decision-makers on the season, revealed that 37 percent of GMs believe the Spurs will win The Finals. The Phoenix Suns received 26 percent of the GMs vote and the Dallas Mavericks received 15 percent. In last year’s survey, 43 percent of GMs selected the Spurs to win the Finals.

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (30 percent) was selected by GMs for the second consecutive year to win the regular season MVP Award. The Spurs’ Tim Duncan received 22 percent of the vote and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant received 19 percent. Despite winning the 2006-07 NBA MVP Award, the Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki (0 percent) did not receive any GM votes to win the award again this season.

For the first time in the survey’s history, the Miami Heat’s Shaquille O’Neal (7 percent) did not receive the most votes as the best center in the league, as the Spurs’ Duncan (48 percent) and Houston Rockets’ Yao Ming (33 percent) finished with more votes. Duncan (48 percent) was also picked by GMs as the best power forward in the NBA, finishing ahead of the Boston Celtics’ Kevin Garnett (26 percent). The Suns’ Steve Nash (85 percent) was viewed by GMs as the best point guard, the Lakers’ Bryant (93 percent) was selected as the best shooting guard and the Cavaliers’ James (74 percent) finished as the best small forward.

Only Bryant and Duncan have been selected by GMs as the best at their position all six years of the GM Survey.

After finishing the 2006-07 NBA season at 24-58, and acquiring All-Stars Garnett and Ray Allen during the off-season, 78 percent of GMs believe the Boston Celtics will be the most improved team. The Celtics and Detroit Pistons each received 26 percent of votes to win the Eastern Conference.

For the sixth consecutive year, Bryant (89 percent) was also selected by GMs as the player they want taking a shot with the game on the line. Nowitzki (74 percent) was viewed as the top international player and James (59 percent) as the top player GMs would sign to start an NBA franchise.

Additional 2007-08 GM Survey Results Include:
Spurs’ Greg Popovich - best head coach in the NBA (73 percent)
SuperSonics’ Kevin Durant - winning the Rookie of the Year Award (93 percent)
Celtics’ Kevin Garnett - acquisition that will make the biggest impact this season (96 percent)
Spurs’ Bruce Bowen - best defensive player (39 percent)
Bulls’ Luol Deng/Timberwolves’ Al Jefferson - most likely to have breakout season (each 15 percent)
Raptors’ Andrea Bargnani – international player most likely to have breakout season (26 percent)
Pistons’ Richard Hamilton - best moving without the ball (73 percent)
Nuggets’ Allen Iverson - fastest player with the ball (22 percent)
Suns - most fun team to watch (73 percent)
Jazz - best home-court advantage (35 percent)

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