The Atlanta Hawks missed out on the NBA’s best record, but they have the head coach of the year: Mike Budenholzer edged out Steve Kerr for the award, it was announced Tuesday morning.
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) April 21, 2015
Coach Bud led the Hawks to a dramatic turnaround this season, reaching a franchise-best 60 wins after only posting 38 victories in 2013-14.
From the press release:
Budenholzer received 67 first-place votes and 513 total points from a panel of 130 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. The Golden State Warriors’ Steve Kerr, who led the Pacific Division champions to a franchise-record and NBA-high 67 victories in his first season as an NBA coach, finished second with 56 first-place votes and 471 total points. Jason Kidd of the Milwaukee Bucks was third with one first-place vote and 57 total points. Coaches were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.
Budenholzer led Atlanta to a 60-22 record in his second season, three games better than the previous team high of 57-25 set in 1986-87 and matched in 1993-94. The Hawks earned both the No. 1 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference and a division title (Southeast Division) for the first time since 1993-94 — the last season they had the NBA Coach of the Year (Lenny Wilkens). Atlanta made the playoffs for the eighth consecutive year, the longest active streak in the East.
After posting a 38-44 record last season, Budenholzer oversaw a 22-win improvement rooted in balance on offense and teamwork on defense. According to NBA.com/Stats, Atlanta tied for sixth in the league in offensive rating (points scored per 100 possessions) and ranked seventh in defensive rating (points allowed per 100 possessions). Six players averaged double figures in scoring, but none eclipsed 17 points per game. The Hawks set a franchise record for three-pointers with 818, ranked second in the NBA in assists (25.7 apg) and finished in the top five in field goal percentage (fourth), three-point field goal percentage (second) and free throw percentage (fifth).