MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Heat’s Big Three may be down to the Big Two in the next few games, but general managers across the league overwhelmingly believe the Miami Heat will win the NBA championship this season.

According to’s annual general manager survey, Miami was picked by 74.1 percent of general managers to win the 2012 NBA Finals.

The Heat’s closest competitor, according to general managers, is the Oklahoma City Thunder, who was picked by 14.8 percent to win the NBA title.

Miami is also the nearly unanimous pick to win the Eastern Conference this season, with 96 percent saying the Heat will easily take out the Celtics en route to the NBA Finals.

When it comes to individual players, NBA GM’s gave a narrow advantage to Kevin Durant of the Thunder to win the 2011-2012 NBA MVP. He was trailed by Heat All-Star forward LeBron James.

The two players were tied in first when general managers were asked what player they would want to build a franchise around.

Heat All-Star guard Dwyane Wade was ranked as the fifth best player to start a team around.

Fellow general managers said that rookie Heat point guard Norris Cole is likely to be a “sleeper success” this year in the NBA.

So far, Cole has proven them right. The rookie is averaging just fewer than 10 points and 3.3 assists per game.

NBA general managers said the Miami Heat was the most fun to watch and that LeBron James is the most athletic player in the NBA.

Not surprisingly, LeBron is not someone opposing general managers want to see on a fast break.

LeBron was the overwhelming pick for the most dangerous player in the open floor and was listed as the best finisher in the league.

But don’t ask general managers to be comfortable with LeBron taking the final shot in the game. According to the survey, 48 percent want Kobe Bryant to take the shot. Dwyane Wade was the only Heat player to receive any votes.


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