Wake up with the Celtics  and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘¦
NBA.com released its ninth annual GM Survey , and I’ll tell ya: Rodney Dangerfield got more respect than the Celtics. Sixty questions were posed to the league’s general managers. Here are the highlights (or lowlights) …
- 63 percent of GMs believe the Lakers will win a third straight title. The Heat got 33.3 percent of the vote, and Boston got the remaining 3.7 percent. However, 100 percent of GMs think the C’s will win the Atlantic Division, so they’ve got that going for them.
- 75 percent of GMs believe the C’s are the best defensive team in the NBA, and Rajon Rondo  received the most votes (32.1 percent) as the NBA’s best on-the-ball defender. Defense wins championships, no?
- Kevin Garnett  picked up votes for best defensive player and best interior defender in the league, but Dwight Howard  dominated both categories.
- 66.7 percent of GMs predicted Kevin Durant  would win MVP. Kobe Bryant  was next on the list with 25.9 percent of the vote. Semih Erden did not receive a vote … yet.
- 55.6 percent of GMs would take Durant to start their team. Only 25.9 percent said they’d take LeBron James . To me, this is the most surprising outcome. In 2009, LeBron got 78.6 percent of the vote . Apparently, his reputation took a hit within the NBA, too.
- Not a single GM picked Rondo as the NBA’s best point guard . Deron Williams got half the votes, followed by Chris Paul  (35.7 percent), Steve Nash  (10.7) and Chauncey Billups  (3.6). Billups over Rondo? Really?
- The only Celtic to receive a vote for best player at his position was Garnett, and he finished well behind co-winners Pau Gasol  (isn’t he a center?) and Dirk Nowitzki .
- Ray Allen  won two categories: best pure shooter and best at moving without the ball. Ray also received a vote for the player who will make the best coach.
- GMs believe Doc comes up with the best defensive schemes in the league. Doc Rivers  received a vote for the NBA’s best coach, but Phil Jackson  won in a landslide. The “who’s the best manager/motivator of people” vote was closer, but Jackson still won (46.4 percent to 26.8).
- Believe it or not, the C’s Luke Harangody is the most likely rookie to be a sleeper success.
- The Garden is not the hardest building to play in. EnergySolutions Arena in Utah is.
ABOUT LAST NIGHT
I got a lot on my mind this morning, so I’m gonna keep giving you bullet points. Here are five things I learned from the Celtics broadcast last night …
- Mike Gorman said Shaquille O’Neal  is “a safe bet” to start against the Heat on opening night — even after Jermaine O’Neal ‘s expected return early next week.
- Nate Robinson  will defend his slam dunk title. He wants to throw one down in Shaq’s size 22 shoes.
- Tommy being Tommy: True to form, Heinsohn ripped his first official (“That’s a college call.”) and gave out his first Tommy Point, for Glen Davis ‘ dive that turned into a breakdance spin move.
- Evan Turner  isn’t that good. As Mike and Tommy pointed out, looked completely lost all night.
- Stephane Lasme has a chance to make the roster. With fellow candidates for the team’s final spot — Von Wafer  and Mario West — on the floor, Lasme scored 12 points in seven minutes. Even the starters, who were joking around on the end of the bench for much of the second half, took notice of Lasme’s effort.
For more on last night’s preseason opener, check out Paul Flannery‘s Three-Pointer , touching on Erden’s emergence, Shaq’s presence and the C’s depth.
QUOTES FROM AROUND THE NBA
Larry Brown  on the Thunder : “I look at Durant and some of our young guys in the NBA, and I think our league’s in pretty good shape. And this team probably is a testimony to that. Look at their young kids. They’re not only terrific talents, they’re better kids. They’ve done the greatest job of bringing in good kids that represent the league well. When they’re talking about respect for the game, that team’s a poster child for that. So the West better watch out.”
(NOTE: Larry, just don’t look at Lance Stephenson .)
(NOTE: Um … Mike … have you heard of John Wall ? If not, you should check him out.)
Reggie Miller  on the Celtics : “Just watched 1st half of C’s vs Sixers, sorry Heat fans right now Celtics team to beat in East.. But long season…”
(NOTE: So, Reggie watches one half of a preseason game and predicts the entire season? Good enough for me.)
THE BIG 3 IN 3D
ESPN 3D announced its broadcast schedule  for the upcoming season. The first-ever NBA telecast in 3D will feature the Knicks vs. Heat on Dec. 17. The C’s only scheduled 3D appearance comes vs. the Hawks on April 1. Of course, they could be featured in one of the three potential Eastern Conference playoff broadcasts. So, for all of you with $4,000  to blow on a 3D TV, you better go out and get it now for that one game six months from now.
FROM THE IDIOCRACY DEPARTMENT
Some guy over at Dime Magazine had a pretty good idea: Come up with a new name  for all 30 NBA teams. He just didn’t execute the idea. Here’s his take on what the C’s should be called …
“Boston does have some Irish people, I’ll give them that, but they’re not the only people in town. Not even half. One of the things most Bostonians have in common is that crazy Boston accent, the Kennedy accent. So instead of changing the nickname, I’m just going to change the name of the city and the arena. The Bawstin Celtics play in the TD Gahden.”
That’s all you could come up? Honestly? Is this how the rest of the country sees Boston now? Just a bunch of idiots from The Town or The Departed who mispronounce their R’s? I’m sure I could come up with a hundred names better than this attempt. The Founding Fathers? The Teabaggers? The Mumbles Meninos? There are three in three seconds. Any more ideas?