The 5 Biggest Surprises From the NBA’s Annual GM Survey

James Harden, Dwight Howard

James Harden, Dwight Howard (photo. @jharden13)

The NBA GM survey was released today. In the yearly survey, the NBA’s 30 general managers were asked their thoughts on the best players, teams and offseason moves. There were a few surprises — the “White Guy” award wasn’t surprising at all after a three-peat — and so we thought we’d show you five that threw us for a loop.

The big winners weren’t that surprising, and over 3/4 of the GM’s polled predict the Heat will win a third consecutive title this year. LeBron James also swept most of the player questions: MVP, player you’d most like to start a franchise with, most athletic, most unstoppable in the open court, and which player forces a coach to make the most adjustments. Among those coaches, was last year’s Finals loser Gregg Popovich, who swept most of the coach section.

But why look at that which we already know? Here are five surprises from today’s poll results:

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James Harden was voted the league’s best shooting guard

For year’s this was Kobe Bryant‘s spot. He’s been considered the league’s best shooting guard for the entire history of the survey. This year, he was second to James Harden. Maybe Dwyane Wade will post an Instagram using the GM survey as fuel for his fire? If Kobe is feeling down in the dumps at yet another nonbeliever in the Tao of Mamba, he was ranked by ESPN as the 25th best player in the NBA after his Achilles’ tendon tear, he was at least voted the league’s toughest player.

Oklahoma City has the best home-court advantage

We thought this would be more evenly split. Oklahomans are notoriously riotous about their beloved Thunder (deep breaths Seattle hoops lovers), but so are the amazing fans in Golden State, in Memphis, in Chicago, NOT the fans Miami. But this is a silly gripe because we could make the case that every city with an NBA team has some diehard fans. NBA fans are rabid about their home team, and anyone that thinks otherwise hasn’t ever really spent time with an NBA fan (props to my buddy that’s a Bobcats fan).

The Pistons are the league’s most improved team

We’ve talked about this before when the Pistons brought Brandon Jennings to town, but that imposing frontcourt rotation with little in the way of shooting is just asking for a congested paint and spacing issues the 2012-13 Grizzlies wouldn’t even be able to overcome. Maybe coach Maurice Cheeks can overcome the dearth of shooting. But Houston got substantially better, so did Indiana and Derrick Rose is back, so you know Chicago is in title contention. Also, ahem, Brooklyn got a little better, too. This one left us flabbergasted, but maybe Josh Smith signed a blood pact with Joe Dumars never to take another 20-footer again.

Click page 2 for more surprises from the survey

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