The results are in, and in this year's NBA.com GM Survey, the Lakers were picked by the majority of heady front office types to again win the title next spring. 63 percent of the 28 general managers responding, to be precise (or semi-precise, because by my math 63 percent of 28 is 17.64, and even the worst of the bunch still count as whole people).
The Miami SuperTeam! was the next most popular choice, garnering a third of the vote.
In some circles these results will be packaged as a surprise, but they shouldn't be. This summer, when ESPN.com rounded up 93 experts (including me and Andy) to weigh in on issues of great roundball import for the Summer Forecast series, 52 said the Lakers would again take home the Larry O'Brien, while only 34 chose the Heat. In our panel of more locally focused experts, 11 of 13 predicted the Lakers would Threepeat. Moreover, the same group overwhelmingly believed the Celtics still represent a greater threat to L.A. in a seven game series.
No question, Miami remains the most intriguing team in basketball, hype aside will be genuinely fascinating to watch, and certainly have the talent to win this year. But any talk of the Heat as prohibitive favorites among media or basketball insiders doesn't match up with much of the preseason data. Outside of Vegas and south Florida, the Lakers are still seen as the team to beat.
We'll have a lot more from the full survey, as well. The results contain all sorts of fun points to kick around.