I'm not sure how many GMs actually respond to the media survey, and how many teams simply have an intern do it. Nor am I too certain that those who respond do so with a whole lot of honesty.
How else do you explain answers like DeAndre Jordan getting a vote for best future coaching candidate out of current players?
That said, the survey generally seems to have fairly reasonable answers. The Heat are predicted to win the championship. LeBron's the best player in the NBA, and the Pacers are better than the Bulls.
That's right, the Pacers, whom Derrick Rose doesn't even consider a rival, are viewed by more than half the GMs as the team most likely to win the NBA's central division next season. Granted, the Bulls did get one vote to win the championship which was one more than Indiana.
Derrick Rose received 20% of the best PG votes behind Chris Paul's 70%. He also received a vote or two in a half dozen or so other categories, all of which were different ways of saying "how bad ass is this dude?" (fastest with the ball, shot creation, best in the open floor, best finisher etc..)
Joakim Noah came in second to Dwight Howard for best interior defender, Mike Dunleavy got a couple nods for most underrated off-season acquisition, and Loul Deng got some votes for best off the ball movement.
Chicago scored a few more votes related to their defense (Thibs notched a best defensive coach, and the team was voted best defensive team), and that about wrapped it up for Chicago's appearance on the big board.
Not surprisingly, Miami and LeBron James swept (and deservedly so) the majority of the awards. When you're the best team and best player in the NBA that's going to happen.
I don't take much from the survey given that it once predicted Ben Wallace was the best signing in the off-season, but the thing about the Pacers shows that either the people filling these things out underrate the Bulls or simply don't think Chicago will stay healthy.
Quite simply, if both teams are healthy, Chicago is on a different tier than Indiana. Call me crazy, but I like the Bulls odds of beating the Heat more than the Pacers odds of beating the Bulls, and the Bulls odds of beating Miami stink. Maybe the results are simply a nod to the fact that the Bulls will likely be decimated by injuries again.
Maybe people simply want to show Indiana some respect since they won the division last season and played Miami tough in the playoffs. Maybe the survey was taken before Derrick Rose started MVPing teams in preseason and showed not only is he back, but he's taking it personally.
That said, it's good for the Bulls to get some disrespect. Every coach loves to dip in the "no one believes in you!" well once in awhile to get some motivation and more than half the league picking the Pacers over Chicago lends at least a shred of credibility to that argument.
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