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 NEW YORK (AP) -The San Antonio Spurs were picked as the favorites to win another championship in a poll of NBA general managers, who gave Dirk Nowitzki no chance of repeating as league MVP.
Instead, LeBron James was chosen as the likely MVP by GMs who voted in the sixth annual NBA.com GM survey. Nowitzki, who won the award last season, did not receive a single vote.
The Spurs received 37 percent of the votes for likely NBA champion, beating out Phoenix (26 percent) and Dallas (15 percent). Detroit (7 percent) got the most votes among Eastern Conference teams.
However, the GMs slightly preferred the Mavericks (44 percent) over the Spurs (41) to win the Southwest Division.
James (30 percent) also received the most votes last season in the MVP category. He beat out Tim Duncan (22 percent) and Kobe Bryant (19 percent) this time. The Cleveland star was also an overwhelming favorite as the player the GMs would want if they were starting a franchise, getting 59 percent.
The Pistons and Celtics both received 26 percent of the votes as the likely East champion. The GMs tabbed Boston, Chicago, Miami, Utah and Phoenix as the other division champions. The Suns were an unanimous pick in the Pacific.
Kevin Durant (Rookie of the Year) and Gregg Popovich (best coach) were among the other top choices. Full results will be released Wednesday.
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