As you might expect, the Heat and LeBron James got a lot of attention from the GM's in their annual survey. The Heat are picked to be the Eastern Conference Champs along with winning it all. 96.7% of GM's pick the Heat to emerge from the East with just 3.3% giving the Celtics a chance. 70% pick the Heat to win it all with OKC and the Lakers each getting a few votes.
At least the Celtics get the nod by 66.7% of the GM's to win the Atlantic Division. Brooklyn and New York tie for 2nd and Philly comes in 3rd and the Raptors may as well start planning their lottery picks according to the league's GM's.
LeBron James is picked to win the MVP for the second year in a row by 66.7% of the GM's with Kevin Durant coming in a distant second. 50% of the GM's pick LeBron as the player that causes them to make the most adjustments. Have you noticed anything so far? Not much love for the Celtics among the GM's. But there are a few Celtics notes.
Rondo came in as the 3rd Best Point Guard with 6.9% of the GM's voting for him. Chris Paul ran away with this one with 69% of the votes. Derrick Rose came in 2nd with 20.7% of the vote. Kevin Garnett tied for 5th with Blake Griffin for the Best Power Forward. Kevin Love is first with 30% of the votes followed by Dirk,LeBron and LaMarcus Aldridge.
Celtics fans are in love with the moves Danny made this summer but the other GM's, not so much. 86.2% said that the Lakers made the best moves while 6.9% said Brooklyn made better moves. Atlanta and Golden State also received votes, but no love for the Celtics.
Dwight Howard (70%) and Steve Nash (20%) are the leaders for the one acquisition that will have the biggest impact. Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and Andrew Bynum also received votes. I'd say that when all is said and done this season, Jeff Green and Jason Terry will be the true winners in this category.
Finally, in the most underrated acquisition category, the Celtics get some love. The most underrated acquisition goes to Andre Iguodala in Denver, but Jason Terry and Courtney Lee come in second and third. Darko actually got a vote in this one too. (And it wasn't Danny because GM's couldn't vote for their own team or players). Old friend Gerald Green also got a vote as did new enemy, Ray Allen.
Jeff Green's contract got votes for the most surprising move of the offseason. Steve Nash to the Lakers came in first and Ray Allen to the Heat was tied at 4th with Joe Johnson's move to the Nets.
Anthony Davis got 86.7% of the vote for Rookie of the Year, as would be expected. Austin Rivers came in third. I was surprised that Fab Melo didn't get any votes. (I kid). And then we come to the category that the Celtics actually won. "Which Rookie is most likely to be a sleeper success?" Jared Sullinger is the favorite with 17.2% of the vote.
Other things of Celtics interest in this poll. KG got a vote for best defensive player as well as for best interior defender. Avery Bradley came in third behind Tony Allen and LeBron James as the best perimeter defender. Celtics came in third behind Chicago and Miami as the best defensive team.
Doc Rivers came in second to Greg Popovich in both the Best Coach and Best motivator categories. He was way down at 6th when it came to best in game adjustments behind Greg Popovich, Rick Carlisle, Doug Collins, Rick Adelman and George Karl. Doc also got a vote for running the best defense with former Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau coming in first with 70% of the vote. It's kind of odd that the Celtics have the third best defense, but Doc is just 6th in running the best defense. Doesn't make sense to me. Celtics' assistant coach Armond Hill got a vote for best assistant.
No Celtic was counted among the active players who would make the best coach one day. I personally feel that there are a few Celtics who would make a good coach one day. OKC is the most fun team to watch and I have to agree. They are a fun team all the way around. And 70% of the GM's feel OKC has the best home court advantage.
Ray Allen got 56% of the vote as the best pure shooter, which isn't a surprise. He also got 56% of the vote as the best moving without the ball. Paul Pierce got a vote in that category as well. Funny, I never noticed the Captain moving all that much without the ball, but I guess he does. He does so much that you don't notice because he just does it under the radar for the most part.
Rajon Rondo is the 3rd fastest moving with the ball behind Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose. I can agree with Russ but I don't think Rose is all that fast. Rondo can run circles around him. Rondo also came in third as the best passer behind Steve Nash and Chris Paul. Once again, I think Rondo should be tops in this category, at least tied with Nash. CP3 shoots too much.
No Celtics got even one vote for most dangerous in the open floor, best finisher, makes the most of natural ability, or taking a shot with the game on the line. For the record, Ray Allen wasn't listed here either. Maybe he should quit the game because he's not getting the respect he deserves. Just saying.
Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo are tied for third as the toughest players in the league. Kobe is #1 and I can't really argue with that. Kobe plays through a lot of injuries. Perk didn't get a vote, but you show me a guy who plays 3 full playoff series with a torn groin muscle and a torn ligament in the wrist, and I'll show you one tough player.
KG also was second in best leader behind Chris Paul. Rondo received a vote for best basketball IQ and should have been much higher.
If you want to read the whole survey (and not just Celtic related winners) go here.