NEW YORK (AP) -The Los Angeles Lakers will avenge their NBA finals loss to the Boston Celtics, according to a survey of the league's general managers.
The executives who responded to the NBA.com GM survey also picked Cleveland's LeBron James for the third straight year as the likely MVP. The results of the seventh annual poll were released Wednesday.
The Lakers received 46 percent of the vote, well ahead of the Celtics (19 percent). Boston beat Los Angeles in six games in June for its 17th championship.
New Orleans Hornets got 12 percent of the vote and San Antonio 8 percent. It was the first time in five years the GMs didn't tab the Spurs as their preseason pick to win the title.
James, who has never won the MVP award, collected 56 percent of the voting in that category. Kobe Bryant, a first-time MVP last season, drew 37 percent and Chris Paul the other 7 percent.
Also, Miami's Michael Beasley beat out Greg Oden in the Rookie of the Year voting. Beasley, the No. 2 pick, got 48 percent of the vote, while Oden, getting ready for his NBA debut after sitting out the 2007-08 season following knee surgery, was the pick of 30 percent.
se Philadelphia as the team that made the best offseason moves, and 67 percent said Elton Brand's move to the 76ers will be the player acquisition with the biggest impact.
Full results are posted on NBA.com.
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