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Bucks’ Mike Budenholzer wins the 2019 NBA Coach of the Year award

Bucks, Nuggets, Clippers, Doc Rivers, Michael Malone, Mike Budenholzer

As expected, Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer beats out Mike Malone and Doc Rivers to win the 2019 NBA Coach of the Year award.

In his first season with the Bucks, Budenholzer, 49, guided the team to the best record in the NBA with 60 wins and 22 losses — a stark improvement from their 44-38 record last year. Their 60-win season is the Bucks’ best since the 1980-81 season. They also claimed the Central Division title — the first time since the 2000-2001 season. In the postseason, Budenholzer led the team to the Conference Finals before they fell to Kawhi Leonard, Nick Nurse, and the Toronto Raptors. The last time that they made it that far was in the 2000-2001 season.

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers finished second, and the Denver Nuggets’ Mike Malone came in third:

This is Budenholzer’s second Coach of the Year Award, as he won his first in 2015 when he was the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks. This makes him just the sixth coach in NBA history to win at least two. The others are Gene Shue, Bill Fitch, Hubie Brown, Cotton Fitzsimmons, and Mike D’Antoni.

Through Budenholzer’s guidance, the Bucks quickly transformed into one of the teams to look out for in the future. Along the way, he helped in the development of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who’s now considered one of the elites in the league. Other players, such as Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, and Malcolm Brogdon saw remarkable improvement under the guidance of Budenholzer. It will be interesting to see what they do this offseason to keep their core together while adding pieces to potentially take them to the NBA Finals in 2019-20.