Thursday, August 30th, 2012 at 1:35 pm  |  61 responses

NBA Front-Office Poll: Heat, Thunder, Lakers Favorites to Win Title

by Eldon Khorshidi | @eldonadam

In an informal poll of 20 NBA front-office executives and coaches, in which the League’s elite basketball minds casted votes on their favorites for the 2013 Championship, only three teams received first-place recognition.

Expectedly, the defending Champion Miami Heat led the way, receiving 16 first-place votes. Following the Big 3 were the boys from Oklahoma City, who garnered six first-place votes. And last, but definitely not least, with a few superstar additions to their roster, the always-entertaining Los Angeles Lakers made their way into the conversation, receiving two first-place votes. The 2012-13 season tips-off on Tuesday, October 30, with the Heat hosting the Boston Celtics in an Eastern Conference Finals rematch. With the current NBA landscape shaping up to be as exciting as ever, it’s safe to say we’ll be in for one of the best NBA seasons in a long, long time.

Here is the complete breakdown of the poll, followed by some quotes, all courtesy of SI.com:

The final tally, with three of the voters submitting only first-place votes: The defending champions in Miami received 16 first-place votes, one second-place vote and two third-place votes; their Finals foe, Oklahoma City, garnered two first-place votes, six second-place votes and nine third-place votes; and the Lakers, who have added Dwight Howard and Steve Nash to Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, got two first-place votes, 10 second-place votes and six third-place votes. The Lakers may not be seen as the favorites to win it all, but the idea that they’re the top threat to the Heat is not only a topic of much discussion in the media but also clearly a very real sentiment in NBA circles.

Eastern Conference general manager who picked the Lakers as the front-runner but didn’t select a second or third team: “Lakers, hands down. They landed arguably the best center in the NBA and the only point guard who can bring out D12′s best. It all hinges on how much Kobe is willing to defer.”

Western Conference general manager who ranked his top three as Miami, Los Angeles and Oklahoma City: “Miami: Obvious reason. Lakers: If Nash can stay healthy. OKC: Too much talent.”

Eastern Conference head coach who voted Miami, Oklahoma City and Los Angeles: “Miami because of LeBron; OKC because of Durant and its experience of losing last year; the Lakers because of Kobe, Nash, Gasol — in that order. IF Howard is healthy, he will be the fourth reason.”

Western Conference executive who voted Miami, Los Angeles and Oklahoma City: “LeBron and Dwyane Wade will carry the Heat once again. The Lakers will need to jell and stay healthy, but with their new mix of players they will be tough to beat. I don’t see the Thunder getting back to the Finals if the Lakers play to their potential, but the Thunder should be back in the West finals again for another crack at it.”

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  • LakeShow

    This is….. SHOCKING…

  • Jsims20

    And in other news, the sky is blue.

  • LakeShow

    Who ya’ll got in the East Semi’s and West Semi’s?
    For me:
    So same as last year, but so, so, so very different.
    Probably 15 new players out of the 3 teams will be in the semi finals with their new teams.

  • Redd

    Should have Western teams vote for Eastern teams and vice versa.

  • AT

    wow i didn’t see that coming…. such bold predictions

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    BREAKING: NBA Front Office poll proves, NBA front offices aren’t full of barnyard animals.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/savagemuzicgroup T-Ray

    I’m actually going out on a limb and saying Heat/Knicks. Before anyone bashes me I picked the Knicks because they were beginning to jell late in the season and some untimely injuries did occur. I think with their new additions they will be a hard out for any team in the East except for Miami.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i’m not going to bash you, but i’m going to call you crazy.

  • AT

    if the celts n heat play in the playoffs i wont be watchin the 2013 NBA Playoffs.Somebody hold that to me

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/savagemuzicgroup T-Ray


  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk


  • http://www.reverbnation.com/savagemuzicgroup T-Ray

    I told y’all with this new system it’s gonna be a funny year lol

  • LakeShow

    I don’t have a problem with that. We all know if they do get to the Semi’s that’s as far as they are going.

  • LakeShow

    *hold me to that*

  • Redd

    It’ll be between Spurs-OKC and Heat-Nets. Should be a good Semi-Finals round.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/savagemuzicgroup T-Ray

    Oh yea I think a majority of the logical commenters don’t see them making it to the finals unless every other team’s plane was somehow sent to the Bermuda Triangle.

  • Junior Taylor

    Nash is the “only PG that can bring the best out of Howard”, really? Howard first choice was to play in NJ with DWill and there is some other PG in LA that you might have heard of..

  • german

    Lakers all the way. Thunder will be a tougher match up then the heat.

  • KDub

    Lol the lakers are going to destroy everybody!! its not even close! LA is just way to big!! and balanced!!!!

  • danpowers

    breaking news 1+1=2 and water is wet

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    I honestly think the Celtics have the best shot this year to win it all. Especially if Sullinger can provide some decent backup mins. IMO Jason Terry will be an improvement over Ray Allen, offensively and defensively, and Rondo has gotten better every year of his career so far, I don’t see why he wouldn’t have his best year yet this year. Also Courtney Lee off the bench is killer.

  • bike

    This is the kind of thing that makes me miss the lockout talk of last summer. At least it generated some good discussion.

  • The Fury

    I’d predict: Lakers v. Spurs and Nets/Boston v. Miami

  • LakeShow

    They “could” beat the Celtics or Nets.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/savagemuzicgroup T-Ray

    You may be on to something

  • fruizm



    word I somehow taught my raptors would dethrone the heat.

  • Junior Taylor

    I have a weird feeling that the EC coach that said “Howard will be the 4th reason the Lakers win” is Doc Rivers.

  • Dagger

    If only we knew the name of the head coach who wrote this: “IF Howard is healthy, he will be the fourth reason.”

  • Dagger

    Yeah, that was bizarre. Also because Howard has been pretty damn good with Nelson. Safe to assume there’s a lot of bitterness towards Howard among NBA coaches and execs.

  • Nick Tha Quick

    Brook Lopez would like a word with some of the execs.

  • LakeShow

    It is widely considered that Steve Nash is the best pick and roll PG in the L.
    If it’s not him, it’s D-Will, or CP3.
    It is 100% given that Howard is the best pick and roll center…
    So yes, Nash will bring out the best in Howard what’s so hard to understand about that?

  • danpowers
  • RKJ92

    YESSSS TORONTO STAND UP!!! LOL —->Scarborough<—–

  • Brion

    Depends when Howard starts playing

  • Junior Taylor

    “only” is the key word. reading is fundamental, lake.

  • LakeShow

    Ah, I see what your saying. Nash is arguably best PnR PG, so if you take him as the best then he is the “only” one who could bring out his “best.” Is how I took it.

  • Rainman

    still the best pick and roll facilitator. so yeah he isnt the ONLY guy that can do it. But he sure is THE BEST.

  • lakers…suck….

    i dont think…..howard gonna stand out….. she must stay healthy…!!

  • Redd

    I predict Kobe will never be comparable to Jordan.

  • Joe

    20 NBA front-office executives and coaches. Are they from contending teams, because I seriously doubt they are.

  • Yi-Cheng Chen

    true. because lakers should not have won that championship in 2002 if they weren’t assisted by the referees =X so that means KOBE wouldn’t have that much rings in the first place. :)

  • Justin05

    I was thinking the same thing lol. What a dope. The reason the lakers will win next season is Kobe, Howard, Nash, and Gasol in that order. It was probably Scott Brooks.

  • Justin05

    Or Spoelstra. The Heat could be a little bitter that LA actually has a center.

  • Justin05

    The West is a no brainer. The Spurs won’t be able to get past OKC or LA this year if they couldn’t do it last season. The East is tricky but I believe it will be Boston and Miami. The Knicks are sleepers and the Bulls could push with a healthy Rose as well. The Nets have proven nothing so idk why ppl think they nwill make noise this season.

  • Justin05

    The balance is key. NBA fans are in for a treat this season, I can’t remember a time when a team was this stacked at all starting positions. Don’t compare the LA team of Shaq, pre-prime Kobe, past prime Gary Payton, and past prime Malone either. Nash and Howard will be a supreme duo and Kobe n Pau will just chip in when necessary. We’ll never go cold haha. And Jamison is coming off the bench?? gtf out of here.. It’s a good year to be a Lakers fan KDub..a good year indeed.

  • valkyrie

    dude, read again. it says eastern conference head coach. last i check OKC is in the west.

  • valkyrie

    haha keep guessing.

  • Roscoe

    What were the ref’s names?

  • valkyrie

    not bad thinking positive, man. a lot of fans will eat their words when the season ends. let’s see who chokes out.

  • Roscoe

    The Cessna, JET, has an attitude that is going to be turbulent. Do you remember Big Baby and Nate? Ray A. is a HOF; Jet is not.

  • Roscoe

    Actually water is not wet, but what water touches becomes wet.

  • deo

    do not forget about the 2004 WCF against kings

  • Slick Ric

    LMMFAO at this idiot general manager saying Howard will be the fourth reason they win the championship. If he’s that ineffective, The Lakers aren’t getting close to a title.

  • Jeremys6226

    OKC vs Heat in the finals, Lakers will need some time to gel and may not stay healthy and Durant is gonna be out for revenge

  • uqk

    if D12 healthy…it will be the only reason, 2nd round tops without D12

  • Clydesays

    I can’t see the Knicks or Nets in the ECF. DWill has not been the player he was in UT and the Knicks are a disfunctional line up. Sixers could challenge IF Bynum is healthy and motivated. 2 BIG ifs. Otherwise it looks like Heat/Celtics…

  • pposse

    carmello has ADD there is a minimal chance he can lead a team thru an 82 game season grind to a top seeded finish.

  • pposse

    i dont understand what your fascination is with Antwan Jamison. The guy is no where near a 20 10 guy when he is not the focal point of the team. And when he was the focal point, his teams sucked. He is a proven loser, never won on any level of his basketball career and as a big man his go to move is a floating hook shot. His only claim to anything were back to back 50 pt games. The guy is a quintessential ball stopper.

  • The Dude

    agreed. Heat are not so tough once you get past lebron and chris bosh, who are both very consistent. idk why but dwade, maybe the injury, seems like he’s lost a step or two. soon as you get ron artest on him or kobe, he will be less effective.

  • The Dude

    well, they could have lucked out even more and gotten leandro barbosa too. shoot, don’t know if he’s still available. anyways, the lakers may still need some help at the PG position. steve blake as a back up is still sub par, my opinion.