The NBA’s general managers have spoken.
The annual polling of teams’ primary decision-makers was released today on NBA.com and, as usual, there are some surprises. What comes across most is how balanced the league is this season, compared to recent seasons.
We’ll get to thoughts on other teams and players in a minute but, first, how do they see the Heat.
Well, first, no one sees them winning the title this season. Neither, naturally, do we. We do — or at least I do — see them contending for the third spot in the conference behind Milwaukee and Philadelphia. No GM does, however. The Heat received no third place votes, while 18 percent of the GMs have them finishing fourth. The consensus? Seventh, also behind Boston, Brooklyn, Toronto and Indiana.
So what about players?
The Heat did not get votes for MVP, player to start a franchise with, or player who forces the most adjustments. Nor did the Heat get consideration for any particular position, in terms of being the best in the league (small forward, where Jimmy Butler, is kind of loaded).
Bam Adebayo did receive votes in the “breakout season” category (Sacramento’s DeAaron Fox was first). And while Tyler Herro did not register in the Rookie of the Year thinking (tough season to do that), he did receive 7% of the vote for “biggest steal” at his draft position, which was 13th. And Derrick Jones Jr. got 7% of the vote for most athletic player.
Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Anthony Davis switched teams this offseason, so all beat out Butler in the biggest offseason acquisition category. Butler did receive a vote for best perimeter defender (Leonard and George outpaced the field). The Heat were not among the eight teams receiving votes for “most improved team.”
But this is where it gets interesting.
Remember when ESPN blowhard Dan Dakich said Erik Spoelstra was just another coach? While sitting in the same booth as our buddy Jorge Sedano?
GMs voted on who is the best coach in the NBA:
1) Gregg Popovich – 55%
2) Erik Spoelstra – 17%
3) Mike Budenholzer – 10%
4) Steve Kerr – 7%
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) October 17, 2019
Jorge has final say on this:
— Jorge Sedano (@Sedano) October 17, 2019