James picked to win second straight MVP award.
In a poll of all 30 general managers in the NBA, the Miami Heat have been voted to win a third consecutive title this year.
Meanwhile, the GMs also picked LeBron James to win a second straight MVP award which would result in the 28-year-old joining both Michael Jordan and Bill Russell with five MVPs.
While they may have played it safe with their big picks for the season ahead, there was controversy as James Harden was chosen ahead of Kobe Bryant as the best shooting guard in the league.
Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni spoke out about the recent ESPN rankings which saw the Mamba come in at a lowly 25th, and revealed that it won’t necessarily bother him as he is dedicated and motivated enough already.
Meanwhile, as part of the poll, the Orlando Magic’s Victor Oladipo was voted the most likely candidate for the rookie of the year award, while the Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs were tied for second in the voting for most likely team to win the championship.
Given that James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh all remain in Miami this season it is unsurprising that the Heat have been installed as the pre-season favourites.
However, as pointed out by experts over the summer it will take a monumental effort from the organisation to deal with the emotional aspect of attempting to win a third straight title.
The Pacers will be a threat in the Eastern Conference, as will the Chicago Bulls who now have Derrick Rose back, and it would appear that if the Heat are to fall then it may come before the NBA Finals.