NBA general managers: Warriors will beat Cavs in NBA Finals

NBA general managers: Warriors will beat Cavs in NBA Finals

The Warriors beat the Cavs in 2015. The Cavs beat the Warriors in 2016.

According to the NBA's general managers, the Warriors will win the rubber match in the 2017 NBA Finals.

In NBA.com's annual "GM Survey," 69 percent believe Golden State will hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy, while 31 percent picked Cleveland.

As the survey indicates: "The GMs responded to 48 different questions about the best teams, players, coaches, fans, and offseason moves. General managers were not permitted to vote for their own team or personnel. Percentages are based on the pool of respondents to that particular question, rather than all 30 GMs."

The NBA has never seen the same two teams face off in the Finals three straight years.

A sampling of other results from the survey:

Who will win the 2016-17 MVP?
1. LeBron James, Cleveland – 46.7%
2. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City – 23.3%
3. Stephen Curry, Golden State – 10.0%
    James Harden, Houston – 10.0%
5. Kevin Durant, Golden State – 6.7%
6. Paul George, Indiana – 3.3%
Last year: LeBron James – 39.3%

Which player forces opposing coaches to make the most adjustments?
1. LeBron James, Cleveland – 75.0%
2. Stephen Curry, Golden State – 21.4%
3. Draymond Green, Golden State – 3.6%

Last year: LeBron James – 62.1%

Who is the best point guard in the NBA?
1. Stephen Curry, Golden State – 63.3%
2. Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers – 20.0%
3. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City – 10.0%
4. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland – 6.7%
Last year: Stephen Curry – 55.2%

Who is the best shooting guard in the NBA?
1. James Harden, Houston – 56.7%
2. Klay Thompson, Golden State – 40.0%
3. Dwyane Wade, Chicago – 3.3%
Last year: James Harden – 79.3%

Who is the best small forward in the NBA?
1. LeBron James, Cleveland – 76.8%
2. Kevin Durant, Golden State – 23.2%
Last year: LeBron James – 89.3%

Who is the best power forward in the NBA?
1. Anthony Davis, New Orleans – 29.0%
2. LeBron James, Cleveland – 19.4%
3. Draymond Green, Golden State – 16.1%     
4. LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio – 12.9%
    Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers – 12.9%
6. Kevin Durant, Golden State – 9.7%
Last year: Anthony Davis – 82.1%

Who is the best center in the NBA?
1. DeAndre Jordan, L.A. Clippers – 33.3%
2. DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento – 26.7%
3. Anthony Davis, New Orleans – 16.7%
4. Marc Gasol, Memphis – 13.3%
5. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota – 6.7%
6. Draymond Green, Golden State – 3.3%
Last year: Marc Gasol – 65.5%

Who is the best defensive player in the NBA?
1. Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio – 66.7%
2. LeBron James, Cleveland – 10.0%
3. Avery Bradley, Boston – 6.7%
    Draymond Green, Golden State – 6.7%
    DeAndre Jordan, L.A. Clippers – 6.7%
6. Hassan Whiteside, Miami – 3.3%
Last year: Kawhi Leonard – 27.6%

Which head coach is the best manager/motivator of people?
1. Gregg Popovich, San Antonio – 66.7%
2. Steve Kerr, Golden State – 16.7%
3. Brad Stevens, Boston – 6.7%
Also receiving votes: Rick Carlisle, Dallas; Steve Clifford, Charlotte; Doc Rivers, L.A. Clippers
Last year: Gregg Popovich – 48.3%

Which head coach runs the best offense?
1. Steve Kerr, Golden State – 63.3%
2. Gregg Popovich, San Antonio – 16.7%
3. Rick Carlisle, Dallas – 6.7%
    Mike D'Antoni, Houston – 6.7%
Also receiving votes: Brad Stevens, Boston; Terry Stotts, Portland
Last year: Steve Kerr – 58.6%

Who is the best assistant coach in the NBA?
1. Ron Adams, Golden State – 37.9%
2. Stephen Silas, Charlotte – 10.3%
3. James Borrego, San Antonio – 6.9%
    Dan Burke, Indiana – 6.9%
Also receiving votes: J.B. Bickerstaff, Memphis; Larry Drew, Cleveland; Chip Engelland, San Antonio; Darren Erman, New Orleans; Tim Grgurich; Adrian Griffin, Oklahoma City; Ettore Messina, San Antonio; Nick Nurse, Toronto; Brian Shaw, L.A. Lakers; David Vanterpool, Portland; Mike Woodson, L.A. Clippers
Last year: Ron Adams – 24.1%

Which team is the most fun to watch?
1. Golden State – 93.3%
Also receiving votes: L.A. Clippers, Portland
Last year: Golden State – 93.1%

Which team has the best home-court advantage?
1. Golden State – 58.3%
2. Denver – 16.7%
3. Oklahoma City – 10.0%
4. San Antonio – 6.7%
5. Utah – 5.0%
6. Portland – 3.3%
Last year: Golden State – 65.5%

Which player is the best pure shooter?
1. Stephen Curry, Golden State – 60.0%
2. Klay Thompson, Golden State – 26.7%

3. Kyle Korver, Atlanta – 10.0%
4. J.J. Redick, L.A. Clippers – 3.3%
Last year: Stephen Curry – 79.3%

What bench player makes the biggest impact when he enters the game?
1. Jamal Crawford, L.A. Clippers – 46.7%
2. Andre Iguodala, Golden State – 40.0%
3. Zach Randolph, Memphis – 6.7%
Also receiving votes: Mike Dunleavy, Cleveland; Manu Ginobili, San Antonio
Last year: Andre Iguodala – 37.9%

Which player is the best leader?
1. LeBron James, Cleveland – 57.1%
2. Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers – 14.3%
3. Stephen Curry, Golden State – 10.7%
    Draymond Green, Golden State – 10.7%
Also receiving votes: Tim Duncan; Dwyane Wade, Chicago
Last year: LeBron James – 44.6%

Which player would you want taking a shot with the game on the line?
1. Stephen Curry, Golden State – 75.9%
2. LeBron James, Cleveland – 10.3%
Also receiving votes: Carmelo Anthony, New York; Kevin Durant, Golden State; James Harden, Houston; Kyrie Irving, Cleveland
Last year: Stephen Curry – 51.7%

Warriors need vets to bounce back against young Suns


Warriors need vets to bounce back against young Suns

The Warriors have lost three of their last four games, their roster is in shambles and, still, they look like pure gold in contrast to the Suns team they’re facing Saturday night in Phoenix.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6 o’clock, with tipoff scheduled for 7:05.

Reeling from the absences of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, the Warriors (52-17) showed plenty of the scrap in losing to the Kings on Friday in Oakland but couldn’t get much offense from their veterans.

The Suns (19-51) are having the worst season since 1968-69, their inaugural season. They’ve lost seven in a row, 16 of their last 17 and 21 of their last 23.


Warriors by 3


Quinn Cook vs. Elfrid Payton: Payton bolted to a 16-point first quarter and scored 29 the last time he faced the Warriors. Quinn is coming off a career-high 25-point game. With teams relying on diminished rosters, whichever of the two young PGs can set a tone gives his team an advantage.


Warriors: G Omri Casspi (R ankle sprain), G Stephen Curry (R ankle tweak), F Kevin Durant (R rib soreness), G Pat McCaw (L wrist fracture) and G Klay Thompson (R thumb fracture) are listed as out.

Suns: G Devin Booker (R hand sprain) and F Alan Williams (R meniscus tear) are listed as questionable. G Brandon Knight (L ACL tear) is listed as out.


Warriors: 7-3.

Suns: 1-9.


Tony Brothers (crew chief), Jacyn Goble, James Williams


The Warriors won the first of four meetings this season, 129-83 on Feb. 12 at Oracle Arena. They swept all four games last season and are 12-1 against the Suns in the Steve Kerr era.


MOTIVATED VETS: Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Zaza Pachulia, David West and Nick Young, expected to generate offense, combined to shoot 19-of-59 (32.2 percent) in a five-point loss Friday. They must be better; they can’t be much worse. Phoenix leads the NBA in points allowed.

THE BIG MEN: JaVale McGee started nine straight games at center, but Pachulia started the last two. The Suns are long up front, so McGee could be in line for a start or more minutes. In addition, Damian Jones, the team’s other 7-footer, also could get playing time.

STREAKING WITH THREES: The Suns own the longest active streak of games with at least one 3-point make (1,128). The Warriors are No. 2 (1,121). Both streaks are endangered. Curry, Thompson and Durant are out for the Warriors. Booker will either sit out or play with a splint on his shooting hand.

Cook gives injured Warriors 'huge boost' in anomalous loss

Cook gives injured Warriors 'huge boost' in anomalous loss

OAKLAND -- If Quinn Cook plays at anything close to the level he performed Friday night against the Kings, the Warriors should avoid any catastrophic stumbling in the absence of their top three scorers.

They stumbled plenty in a 98-93 loss to Sacramento, but not because of Cook. The two-way player who has spent most of the season with G-League Santa Cruz scored a team-high 25 points, shot 10-of-13 from the field and played respectable defense.

He did more than could have been reasonably expected.

“I felt like this was coming,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He was fantastic. He really lit it up and gave us a huge boost.”

The Warriors ran into problems elsewhere, shared among the usually reliable veterans who need to be particularly reliable in the absence of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.

Usual starters Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia combined to shoot 6-of-20.

Usual reserves Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, David West and Nick Young shot a collective 13-of-39.

In the second half, when Warriors mustered only 34 points -- a season-low for any half -- the six vets combined to take 32 shots and missed 24.

Those are atrocious numbers and they explain what went wrong in a game that was there for the taking.

They’re also an anomaly.

“We just couldn’t get anything going,” Green said. “But we got some good shots. We got ‘Dre on a couple of pull-ups in the lane, I got a couple open shots, Nick got a couple open shots, Zaza got a couple open ones. D-West had one pop in and out. (Kevon Looney) had two pop in and out.

“We just got cold. But hopefully those shots will fall tomorrow.”

West, returning after missing four games with a cyst on his right arm, was 1-of-6 from the field. He came into this game as a 60.8-percent shooter this season.

Igoudala was 4-of-10; he shot 70 percent over the previous 10 games. Young was 5-of-15, well below his 44-percent shooting this season. Livingston’s 3-of-8 shooting is uncharacteristic of someone shooting at least 50 percent for four years running.

If history is any indication, Green (5-of-14) and Pachulia (1-of-6) are not going continue to miss at the rate they did in this game, the first this season in which the Warriors were without all three of their top scorers.

If history is any indication, the Warriors can’t be counted on to score 34 points on 27.3-percent shooting in the second half of a game.

“I loved how our guys battled,” Kerr said. “They really competed well and made some big plays. We just couldn’t get the ball to go down quite enough in the second half.”

That’s going to change, perhaps as soon as Saturday night in Phoenix, were the Suns are playing to lose.

So if Cook plays steady basketball, the Warriors will fall off and their fans won’t become a basket case while waiting for the three shooters. The Warriors surely believe that.

“He really showed up. I’ve been waiting on that Quinn,” Green said. “We needed that. It was great for him to come out and play like that. And most importantly, his shots were falling. Since he’s been playing (more often) he’s been playing well, but his shots weren’t really falling. But tonight, they fell for him.”

They won’t always fall at a rate of 77 percent. They won’t have to once his teammates drop in a few more of their own shots.