Add another accomplishment to Mike Budenholzer’s bucket list. After a 38-44 season in 2014, Budenholzer coached the Hawks to a 60-22 record, a 22 game swing. He took the team from the eighth-seeded team in the Eastern conference last year to the top-seed in the east in 2015. The culture of the Atlanta Hawks organization has completely changed with Budenholzer at the helm. The only other coach deserving of the award was Golden State head coach, Steve Kerr. Kerr inherited a very talented team though, while Budenholzer made his players believe in themselves.
The Atlanta Hawks roster is not made of any superstars. There isn’t a player that takes over games night in and night out. The thing is, the Hawks found a way to adapt. This team is made of very unselfish players that molded together as a complete team. Who made them believe in themselves? Mike Budenholzer was the man that accomplished that feat. Atlanta was sixth in the league in offensive rating and seventh in defensive rating. Defense has been preached throughout the season from the head coach, and it is a very noticeable in their play. No player this year eclipsed a 30-point game, six players averaged double figures in scoring, and the team ranked 2nd in the NBA in assists per game. There is so much credit to give Budenholzer for turning the mentality of not just his players, but the fans of Atlanta.
Budenholzer received 67 first-place votes and totaled 513 total points. Kerr received 56-first place votes and totaled 471 points. Jason Kidd, coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, finished in third place. Budenholzer led Atlanta to their best record in franchise history. After working 17 years as the assistant coach under one of the best coaches in NBA history, Gregg Popovich, Budenholzer has already exceeded expectations. In only his 2nd year as an NBA head coach, the sky is the limit for the Hawks head coach. This is just the beginning for winning basketball in the city of Atlanta, and a great majority is in part of Coach Mike Budenholzer.