Spurs will repeat, league's GMs predict

Updated: October 25, 2005, 5:00 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The San Antonio Spurs are overwhelming favorites to repeat as NBA champions, according to an NBA.com survey of the league's general managers.

The Spurs received 77 percent of the vote among the approximately 25 GMs who responded. That percentage is the highest a team has received in the four years the survey has been conducted. The defending champions got 96 percent of the vote to win the Western Conference and 100 percent to win the Southwest Division.

Miami also was a unanimous pick to win the Southeast. Results were posted beginning Tuesday on NBA.com.

San Antonio star Tim Duncan got more than 78 percent of the votes as the league's top power forward and is the favorite to win another MVP award. Other popular choices among the league GMs were Miami's Shaquille O'Neal, who got 84 percent as the top center, and Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki (77 percent) as the league's top international player.

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant received the most votes in two categories: best shooting guard and the player wanted to take a shot with the game on the line. Reigning MVP Steve Nash replaced Jason Kidd as the point guard -- the first year Kidd didn't receive the most votes at that position -- and Tracy McGrady of Houston was picked as the top small forward.

New Knicks coach Larry Brown was picked as the best coach.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press