GMs go with Heat, LeBron James

Updated: October 24, 2013, 9:44 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

NBA general managers are playing it safe with predictions this season.

In a poll of all 30 GMs conducted by NBA.com, the Miami Heat were chosen to win their third consecutive title, and LeBron James was selected to capture his second straight MVP.

James would join Michael Jordan and Bill Russell with five MVPs. Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) has more.

For the first time in the 12-year history of the survey, Kobe Bryant was not voted the top shooting guard in the league. That honor went to the Houston Rockets' James Harden.

"You know what, I don't think he went berserk (about the ranking) because he's motivated enough anyway," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said Tuesday night. "It does not matter. This guy is dedicated for the Lakers fans, for himself, for us as a team. He'll do everything he can. I don't think it helps him, hurts him. It's just maybe one more thing that's pushing him, but he doesn't really need it. He's pretty good."

"They probably took into account that he's got an Achilles tendon out," D'Antoni noted. "That's the only thing I can think about. He's probably the second best with a torn Achilles, so that's all I know."

The Orlando Magic's Victor Oladipo was voted most likely to be rookie of the year.

The GMs also selected the Heat to win the title last season. This year, the Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs tied for second place in voting for most likely team to win it all. 

Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin contributed to this report.

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