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Lakers favored over Thunder for Western Conference title by NBA GMs

60 percent of the NBA's 30 GMs selected the Lakers to best the Thunder for the Western Conference title in 2013.

Stephen Dunn

The Oklahoma City Thunder are the reigning champions of the Western Conference, but NBA general managers don't expect them to repeat as 60 percent of the NBA's 30 GMs chose the Los Angeles Lakers to take the crown in an NBA.com survey, while only 36.7 percent chose the Thunder.

While the GMs chose the Miami Heat to repeat as NBA champions, the Lakers are garnering respect for their offseason moves that netted them two-time NBA MVP and eight-time All-Star Steve Nash along with three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and six-time All-Star Dwight Howard.

With the blockbuster moves, the Lakers pair the two players with a team that already includes Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace for a team that World Peace hopes can earn a record-breaking 73 wins.

In the poll, the Thunder were picked as a resounding favorite to win the Western Conference's Northwest Division as they garnered 86.7 percent of the vote, while the Nuggets earned 10 percent.