MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The NBA tips off its regular season next week and as one final preview of the season, the league's general managers made their predictions for awards and who will take home the Larry O'Brien trophy this year.
Put simply, it's good to be a member or fan of the Miami Heat!
Three out of four NBA general managers picked the Miami Heat to win the 2014 NBA Finals. The next closest competitors were the Indiana Pacers and the San Antonio Spurs. The Chicago Bulls, L.A. Clippers, and Oklahoma City Thunder also received votes.
More than 86 percent of NBA general managers believe the Heat will win the Eastern Conference this season, but that's down from 96.7 percent who picked the Heat to take the East last year. GM's also gave votes to Indiana and Chicago as possible teams to take out the Heat in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
There's also no doubt among general managers who will win the Southeast division as every single GM picked the Heat to take the Southeast Division in 2013-2014.
Looking at individual players, there's Miami Heat superstar LeBron James…and there's everyone else. General managers picked LeBron as the next MVP, the player they would sign to start a franchise, the player who forces opposing coaches to make the most adjustments, and the best small forward in the NBA.
The survey of general managers also said LeBron is the second best defensive player in the NBA and second best perimeter defender in the league behind Dwight Howard and Tony Allen respectively.
In other areas, Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra was rated the third-best head coach and the third-best manager/motivator of people. General Managers rated Heat forward Shane Battier third as which active player who will make the best head coach, behind Chauncey Billups and Chris Paul.
NBA GM's said Miami had the fourth best home-court advantage and that LeBron is the most athletic player in the league. Heat guard Ray Allen was named the second-best pure shooter in the league behind Stephen Curry of Golden State. Allen was also said to be the best player at moving without the ball.
Finally, LeBron was also named the most dangerous player in the open floor and the best finisher at the rim.
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