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And the Survey Says
Dubs Viewed Favorably in Annual NBA GM Survey
Like leaves falling off of trees, the NBA GM survey is something that’s anticipated every fall. For the last 17 years, NBA GMs have predicted who would win the title in the upcoming season, who would be the Kia MVP, Rookie of the Year, etc. All told, GMs responded to 49 questions on the season ahead, and they weren’t allowed to vote for their own team.
And while survey guidelines prevented any answer from receiving 100 percent of the vote, the Dubs still managed to get pretty close to unanimous territory in several categories. Below is a Warriors-centric view at the results of the 2018-19 NBA GM survey, and the complete results can be found right here.
- 87 percent of NBA general managers think the Warriors will win the 2019 NBA Finals. Despite that high likelihood (according to GMs), that’s actually a decrease from last season when 93 percent correctly tabbed the Dubs as the 2018 NBA Champions.
- NBA GMs say the Warriors have two Kia MVP candidates for the upcoming season. Kevin Durant received 27 percent of the vote, second only to first-year Laker LeBron James (30%). Two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry also received votes. Likewise, Durant (20%; third) and Stephen Curry (7%, fifth) were in the running for player to build around if you were starting a franchise today – Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo (30%) and the Pelicans’ Anthony Davis (23%) earned the top spots in that category. And when it comes to players making opposing coaches the most adjustments, Curry came in third (10%) and Durant fourth (7%), behind James (60%) and Houston’s James Harden (20%).
- Apparently, Curry and Durant play two positions. 57 percent of GMs say that Stephen Curry is the best point guard in the NBA, and 7% say he is the best shooting guard as well. Klay Thompson received 10 percent of the vote for best shooting guard, second only to Harden (73%). Durant received 40 percent of the vote for best small forward, second to James (57%), and the 2017 and 2018 NBA Finals MVP also got 17 percent of the vote for best power forward, behind only Davis (37%) and James (33%). DeMarcus Cousins received at least one vote for best center, a category otherwise dominated by Davis (40%) and the Sixers’ Joel Embiid (33%).
- Boogie’s bolt to the Bay was truly a surprising move. That should come as no surprise if you’ve heard GM Bob Myers discuss how that went down. It was the most surprising move of the offseason, according to 35 percent of GMs. The Kawhi Leonard – DeMar DeRozan trade was the next most surprising move at 29%. Cousins to the Warriors also received 7 percent of the vote for most underrated player acquisition, a category with no consensus, as eight players garnered at least 7%, led by Tyreke Evans going to Indiana (13%).
- GM’s hold Draymond Green’s defensive abilities in really high regard. In fact, 17 percent say he’s the best defensive player in the NBA, ranking third in that category behind 2017-18 Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert and Leonard, both of whom occupy the top spot at 37%. Green was the only player to receive votes for both the best perimeter defender and best interior defender in the NBA, so it only makes sense that he was the popular choice for most versatile defender (53%). Other Dubs getting some defensive love from opposing GMs were Kevin Durant, the fifth most popular choice (3%) for best defensive player, and Klay Thompson, who received at least one vote for best perimeter defender. And when it comes to best defensive teams, the Dubs were the third most popular pick at 17%, behind both the Jazz (45%) and Celtics (34%).
- Sure Steve Kerr has loads of talent on his squad, but he’s also a really good coach. Kerr received 7 percent of the vote for best head coach (tied for third), but 20 percent labeled the Dubs’ coach as the best manager and motivator of people. San Antonio Head Coach Gregg Popovich tops that category at 47%. Kerr, along with Utah coach Quin Snyder and Boston’s Brad Stevens, are the lone coaches to get votes for running the best offense and defensive schemes. And speaking of defense, Ron Adams received the designation of best assistant coach by 17 percent of GMs, which was the highest mark in the league. This marks the fourth straight season that Adams has been the most popular choice for best assistant coach. Adams’ good buddy Mike Brown also received at least one vote in that category this season.
Some more quick hits…
- The Warriors are the most fun team to watch, as agreed upon by 60 percent of league GMs.
- In a major shout out to Dub Nation, 50 percent of the league GMs say the Dubs have the best home-court advantage, marking the fourth straight year the Dubs have topped that category.
- Only four players received votes for best pure shooter, and three of them play for the Dubs. Now would be a good time to remind you that Bob Myers was not allowed to vote for any Warriors for any of these awards. Between the Splash Brothers, Stephen Curry (73%) and Klay Thompson (20%) received 93 percent of the vote.
- Not only are the Splash Brothers incredible shooters, but they’re adept off the ball as well. 53 percent of NBA GMs say that Thompson is the best at moving without the ball, while Curry came in third at 13 percent.
- If the game is on the line, NBA GMs would most want Durant (40%) and Curry (27%) to take that last shot. Not too shabby to have the GMs’ top two choices for this category.
Rounding out the categories in which the Dubs got some love … Curry received the third most votes (23%) for best leader (third) and he got at least one vote for best passer and best basketball IQ … Andre Iguodala ranked third with 10 percent of the vote as the reserve making the biggest impact upon entering the game … Green received 10 percent of the vote for toughest player, tying for fourth … Both Green (3%, fourth) and Durant (13%, third) received votes for the most versatile player in the league.
Based on these survey responses, the Dubs look to be in pretty good shape heading into the 2018-19 campaign. The accuracy of these predictions will soon be put to the test as we get ready for another fall favorite tradition – the start of a new NBA season.