GMs pick Lakers, Durant

Los Angeles Lakers' Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher (L-R), pose for photos during the basketball team's media day at Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California on Sept. 25, 2010. The Lakers will try to three-peat this season after winning back-to-back NBA championship titles. UPI/Jim Ruymen Photo via Newscom

Per ESPN…

The annual NBA.com GM Survey, released Wednesday, says the Lakers are the team to beat, according to 63 percent of the 28 general managers who responded.

The Miami Heat, who picked up James and Chris Bosh to join Dwyane Wade during the offseason, were picked to win by 33 percent of the respondents.

The Boston Celtics were the pick of 4 percent.

In the MVP race, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder was the overwhelming pick, getting 67 percent of the votes. Kobe Bryant of the Lakers was second with 26 percent.

James, last season’s league MVP, picked up just a single vote, as did Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic.

I suspect that with all the hullabaloo surrounding Miami’s new Super Friends, the Lakers are coming into the season very motivated. They are the two-time champs and are the team to beat, despite all the goings on in South Florida. I give them the edge for an NBA title, but if the two teams meet in the Finals, then it means that LeBron, D-Wade and Chris Bosh have worked out whatever kinks there were and managed to get out of what is shaping up to be a brutal Eastern Conference playoff draw.

The MVP race will be interesting, especially with LeBron and Wade sharing the stage in Miami. Unless LeBron averages a triple-double, either player would be hard-pressed to win the award because voters could make a strong case for the other guy. That leaves Durant and Kobe as the front-runners.

Henry Abbott of TrueHoop digs deeper into the GM survey.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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