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| Oct. 22, 2008

NBA GM surveyNBA general managers predict the Los Angeles Lakers to defeat the Boston Celtics in The Finals according to respondents of the Seventh Annual NBA.com GM Survey. The complete NBA.com GM Survey results are now posted on NBA.com as the 2008-09 season readies to tip off on Oct. 28.

The exclusive survey, providing fans with an inside look into the minds of NBA decision-makers on the season, revealed that 46 percent of GMs believe the Lakers will win their 15th NBA title in 2009. The defending NBA champion Boston Celtics received 19 percent of the vote, followed by the New Orleans Hornets with 12 percent. For the first time in five years, the majority of GMs did not select the San Antonio Spurs (eight percent) to win the title.

Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (56 percent) was selected by GMs for the third consecutive year to win the regular season MVP. Reigning MVP, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers received 37 percent of the vote and the New Orleans Hornets’ Chris Paul garnered seven percent.

NBA GM surveyThe second overall draft pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, Michael Beasley of the Miami Heat grabbed 48 percent of the GM vote to win the 2008-09 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. 2007 top overall draft pick Greg Oden of the Portland Trail Blazers, who sat out the 2007-08 season with an injury, received 30 percent and the Memphis Grizzlies’ O.J. Mayo rounded out the top three with 11 percent of the vote.

For the first time, Dwight Howard, center for the Orlando Magic (56 percent), and New Orleans Hornets’ point guard Chris Paul (89 percent) were voted as the top players at their positions, overtaking the Houston Rockets’ Yao Ming and Phoenix Suns’ Steve Nash. The Cavaliers’ James (93 percent) was viewed as the best small forward, the Lakers’ Bryant (93 percent) was selected as the best shooting guard and the Spurs’ Tim Duncan (52%) finished as the best power forward. Bryant and Duncan are the only players to have been selected as the best at their position in all seven years of the NBA.com GM Survey.

After acquiring two-time All-Star Elton Brand, 52 percent of GMs believe the Philadelphia 76ers made the best overall moves this past offseason and 67 percent believe Brand’s move to Philadelphia will be the most impactful player acquisition.

For the seventh consecutive season, Bryant (89 percent) was selected by GMs as the player they most want taking the shot with the game on the line. Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks (67 percent) was voted the top international player and James (67 percent) was voted as the top player GMs would sign to start an NBA franchise.

Additional 2008-09 NBA.com GM Survey Results Include:

· Spurs’ Gregg Popovich - best head coach in the NBA (54 percent)
· Utah Jazz – best home-court advantage (44 percent)
· Celtics’ Kevin Garnett - best defensive player (44 percent)
· Lakers’ Andrew Bynum - most likely to have breakout season (19 percent)
· New Orleans Hornets – most fun team to watch (27 percent)
· Portland Trail Blazers and Miami Heat – most improved team (each 26 percent)
· Knicks’ Mike D’Antoni – head coach that runs the best offense (54 percent)
· Hornets’ Chris Paul - fastest player with the ball (37 percent)
· Blazers’ Rudy Fernandez – which international rookie is most ready to contribute this season (52 percent)



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