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NBA GMs: Sorry, Cleveland. Lakers Still the Faves

By George Thomas Published: October 6, 2009

Bad news Cavs fans:  The Cavaliers aren't the favorite, even with the additions of Shaquille O'Neal and Anthony Parker, to win the NBA's championship this season.  They're not even the favorite to win the league's Eastern Conference - at least not with the league's general managers.
Just 17.9 percent of league GMs say that the Cavs are good enough to win this year's championship and they're tied with the 2007-08 champs, the Boston Celtics.  The reigning champs, the Los Angeles Lakers, are favored to repeat by 60.7 of the NBA's top execs.
Fifty-percent of GMs expect the Celtics, who will have the Boston Three Party in tact to start the season, to reassert themselves atop the Eastern Conference.  More than 42 percent said the Cavs will find themselves in The Finals.
Individually, there was good news for LeBron James as GMs expect him to repeat as NBA MVP. 
My assessment?  Nothing wrong with a healthy dose of skepticism or a reality check for the Cavs.  Expectations by Cleveland fans desperate for a winning are so high, I suspect that they'd starte following the Cleveland City Stars, the local pro soccer team.  Yes, there is one.
The reality is the Cavs got better in the off season.  The bench has the depth that most NBA teams would scream for with the additions of Anthony Parker and Jamario Moon.  It gets better when Leon Powe is cleared to play.  But so did many teams in the Eastern Conference. 
The Orlando Magic added Vince Carter to their roster. They probably gave up a lot in Courtney Lee, who will be an All-Star in the future, but it's quite obvious they want to win now.  As for the Celts:  they added Rasheed Wallace, a personality who's been a handful in the past, but one that Coach Doc Rivers will be able to tame.
In short:  the Cavs won't be dancing through the season.

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