23 Oct 2014

Spurs favoured to repeat

12:37 pm on 23 October 2014

The San Antonio Spurs are the overwhelming favourites to repeat as NBA basketball champions according to a survey of the league's general managers.

The Spurs scored 46 percent of the votes, well ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers with 15 percent.

The season starts next week.

2014 NBA champion San Antonio Spurs

2014 NBA champion San Antonio Spurs Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The general managers gave their answers to 56 questions and were not permitted to vote for their own players or team.

They picked Lebron James as the runaway winner in the MVP category, chosen by 68 percent of respondents to win the award for the fifth time in his return to Cleveland.

The Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant, who is out for an indefinite period with a fracture in his right foot, finished second on 21 percent. Durant won the award last season.

James' return to Cleveland was picked as the most surprising move of the off-season while the Cavaliers were lauded for making the best off-season moves.

The Milwaukee Bucks' Jabari Parker was the pick to win rookie of the year with 75 percent of the votes.

The Spurs' Gregg Popovich was selected by 93 percent of the GMs as the best coach in the NBA.

The GMs also picked the best player at each position, selecting the Clippers' Chris Paul at point guard (71.4 percent), the Houston Rockets' James Harden at shooting guard (63.0), the Cavaliers' James at small forward (75.0) and the Rockets' Dwight Howard at centre (42.9). The Clippers' Blake Griffin and Portland Trail Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge finished in a tie atop the power forward position (25.0 percent each).

The following teams were picked as division winners: the Toronto Raptors in the Atlantic (76.9 percent), the Cavaliers in the Central (60.7), the Washington Wizards in the Southeast (59.3), the Thunder in the Northwest (92.9), the Clippers in the Pacific (81.5) and the Spurs in the Southwest (96.4).