Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 22nd 2015 Contents ATLANTA---After a tumultuous offseason
and leading the Atlanta Hawks to the top
seed in the Eastern Conference, Mike
Budenholzer beat out Golden State s Steve
Kerr for NBA coach of the year yesterday.
Budenholzer, in his second year as a head
coach, was honored after the Hawks went
60-22 during the regular season, the best
mark in franchise history. They won their
first division title since 1994, which also
was the last time they held a No 1 seed in
Budenholzer received 67 first-place votes
and 513 points overall in balloting by US
sports writers and broadcasters. Kerr, who
guided the Warriors to an NBA-best 67-15
record in his first season as coach, received
56 first-place votes and 471 points.
A longtime assistant under San Antonio s
Gregg Popovich, Budenholzer went 38-44
with the Hawks during an injury-plagued
debut season. But the Hawks surged to the
top of the East in his second season, giving
Atlanta its first coach of the year since Lenny
Wilkins 21 years ago.
Milwaukee s Jason Kidd finished a distant
third in the balloting with one first-place
vote and 57 points. Popovich and Chicago s
Tom Thibodeau were the only other coaches
to receive first-place votes.
The Hawks had a troubled summer after
e-mails emerged showing owner Bruce Lev-
enson made racially charged comments
about the team s fan base. Shortly afterward,
it was revealed that Levenson s e-mails were
discovered during the team s investigation
into insensitive comments by general man-
ager Danny Ferry during a conference call
to discuss the potential signing of free agent
Levenson announced he would sell his
share of the team---a process that is still
ongoing---while Ferry took an indefinite
leave that has lasted all season. Budenholzer,
with help from assistant GM Wes Wilcox,
was forced to take over control of player
personnel matters as well as his coaching
After a sluggish start, the Hawks suddenly
got hot in December. They set a franchise
record with a 19-game winning streak and
in January became the first NBA team to
go 17-0 in a calendar month.
Atlanta finished seven games ahead of
the overwhelming preseason favourites,
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Budenholzer was credited with bringing
to Atlanta the team-first style that worked
so well for the Spurs. The Hawks had six
players average in double figures, with the
five starters finishing from 12.1 to 16.7 points
His philosophy was best epitomised when
all five starters were honored as NBA players
of the month for January, the first time the
league has given the award to an entire unit.
The success led to a huge jump in atten-
dance. Atlanta averaged a team-record 17,412
per game, an increase of more than 21 per-
cent from the previous season. (AP)
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, April 22, 2015
CHICAGO---Jimmy Butler set a playoff career-
high for the second straight game with 31 points
as the Chicago Bulls beat the Milwaukee Bucks
91-82 on Monday to take a 2-0 lead in their
first-round NBA playoffs series.
After scoring 25 points in Game 1, Butler was
at his best down the stretch, scoring 14 points
in the fourth quarter.
Chicago s Derrick Rose scored all of his 15
points in the second half after dominating in the
Pau Gasol added 11 points and 16 rebounds
and Mike Dunleavy Jr scored 12 points for the
Khris Middleton led the sixth-seeded Bucks
with 22 points, and Michael Carter-Williams
Game 3 is tomorrow at Milwaukee.
In Oakland, California, Klay Thompson scored
26 points and Stephen Curry had 22 points and
six assists as the Golden State Warriors regrouped
from an early deficit to down the New Orleans
Pelicans 97-87 to take a 2-0 lead in their first-
The top-seeded Warriors fell behind by 13
points in the first quarter after a strong start by
the Pelicans Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon.
A big burst before halftime pushed the Warriors
ahead, and they did just enough in the closing
moments to put away the pesky Pelicans.
Game 3 is also tomorrow in New Orleans.
Davis had 26 points and 10 rebounds, and
Gordon scored 23 points for the Pelicans. (AP)
Bulls beat Bucks
91-82 to go up 2-0
Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike
Budenholzer signals to his players in the
first half of an NBA playoff basketball
game against the Brooklyn Nets Sunday, in
Atlanta. Atlanta won 99-92. AP PHOTO
voted NBA coach of the year
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