Bucks loom as title favorites

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — The Milwaukee Bucks were tipped as favorites to finish this season as National Basketball Association champions according to basketball’s annual survey of the league’s 30 general managers released on Tuesday.

The survey released on NBA.com revealed that the Bucks were seen as frontrunners for the 2023 championship with 43 percent of the votes.

The defending champion Golden State Warriors received 25 percent of the votes while the Los Angeles Clippers had 21 percent.

The Boston Celtics, runners-up to Golden State in last season’s finals, were the other team named with 11 percent of votes.

The Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic meanwhile was tipped as the clear favorite for the NBA Most Valuable Player award with 48 percent.

Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo polled second with 34 percent while the Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid attracted 14 percent.

The Warriors’ Stephen Curry, NBA Finals Most Valuable Player in 2022, attracted just 1 percent of votes.

Meanwhile, Antetokounmpo received 55 percent of votes as the player most GMs would pick to build a team around, with Doncic just behind at 45 percent.

The survey of general managers has been held every year for the past 21 years.

Participants are not allowed to cast votes for their own team or personnel.

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