Last season, the general managers around the league voted the Los Angeles Lakers to win the western conference. We all know how that turned out. Just another example that pre-season polls or surveys should just be taken with a grain of salt, but they are a ton of fun. Especially in the off-season.
First off, the Miami Heat were voted to win the NBA tittle again with 70% of the votes. The Indiana Pacers and the San Antonio Spurs finished in second place with 6.9% of the votes. The Thunder also received some votes to win the NBA tittle, along with the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Clippers.
OKC wasn't picked highly to win the NBA tittle, but they fared well amongst the GM's about winning the Western Conference. The Thunder finished behind only the Spurs with a 36.7% chance of representing the conference in the finals. OKC, was also voted as the overwhelming favorite to win the Northwest division with 96.6% of the votes.
Now we move on to individual awards.
Kevin Durant finished second in voting in the following categories:
- Who will win MVP?
- If you were starting a franchise today and could sign any player, who would it be?
- Which player forces opposing coaches to make the most adjustments?
- Who is the best small forward in the NBA?
- Finished first in "Which player is fastest with the ball" with 26.7% of the votes
- Finished second in "Which player is most athletic" only behind LeBron James.
Westbrook, however, was not voted in the top-3 of the "Best point-guard" poll. That's pretty debatable in my opinion.
- Jeremy Lamb received some votes in "Which player is likely to have a breakout season in 2013-2014?"
- Who is the best shooting guard in the NBA? Kevin Durant actually finished third in this voting. Strange.
- Oklahoma City votes received votes on their off-season moves. Houston took the tittle on this one.
- Steven Adams finished tied for third in "Which player was the biggest steal at where he was selected in the Draft?
- Serge Ibaka received some votes in "Which International player is likely to have a breakout season in 2013-2014?" This one is a bit of a head scratcher because I don't think Ibaka will creep up on anybody anymore. He's legit. Ibaka also received some votes for best defensive player in the NBA and third in "Best interior defender"
- Oklahoma City received votes and just missed the top-four list in "Which is the best defensive team in the NBA?"
- Scott Brooks got some love, too. He received votes in two categories: "Which head coach makes the best in-game adjustments?" and "Which head coach is the best manager/motivator of people?"
- Derek Fisher finished tied for fourth with 7.1% of the votes in "Which active player will make the best head coach one day"
- The Thunder received 13.8% of the votes and finished third amongst funnest teams to watch in the league and were voted to have the best home-court advantage in the NBA. Thanks, loud city!
- Kevin Durant was third amongst the "Best pure shooter in the NBA" category. Only behind Stephen Curry and Ray Allen. Not bad company.
- Nick Collison finished third with 6.9% of the votes in the toughest player in the NBA poll. He finished behind Kobe Bryant and David West. Collison also received votes in "Which player makes the most of limited natural ability" and I just don't understand that one. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
More from Welcome to Loud City:
- 2013-14 Oklahoma City Thunder Player Previews: Russell Westbrook
- WTLC Daily Loud Links: October 22nd, 2013
- 2013-14 Season Look Ahead: Hasheem Thabeet suspended for head butt to New Orleans Pelicans' Greg Stiemsma
- 2013-14 Thunder season report: Russell Westbrook returned to practice on Monday
- Andrew Johnson's Versatility Ratio measures Durant as the most versatile scorer