Warriors' Steve Kerr finishes close second
POSTED: Apr 21, 2015 10:19 AM ET
Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer led Atlanta to a 60-22 record in 2014-15.
NEW YORK — The Atlanta Hawks' Mike Budenholzer, who guided the team to the best regular season in franchise history, is the recipient of the Red Auerbach Trophy as the 2014-15 NBA Coach of the Year, the NBA announced today.
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).
Atlanta opened the season 5-5 before winning 35 of its next 38 games, a stretch that included a franchise-record 19-game winning streak. The 35-3 run also featured a 17-0 January, the best calendar month in NBA history and a perfect run that earned the Hawks' starting five the Kia NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month and Budenholzer his second NBA Eastern Conference Coach of the Month award of the season. The honors continued when a team-record four Hawks players were selected to the NBA All-Star Game, coached on the East team by Budenholzer.
The Coach of the Year Award is named after legendary coach and Hall of Famer Red Auerbach, who guided the Celtics to nine NBA Championships. In 1996, Auerbach was honored as one of the Top 10 Coaches in NBA History as the NBA celebrated its 50th anniversary.
For the second year in a row, complete media voting results for each NBA annual award will be posted on NBA.com/official after the announcement of each winner. Click here for those results.
Below are the balloting results for the 2014-15 NBA Coach of the Year and the list of all-time winners. The balloting was tabulated by the independent accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP.
1962-63 - Harry Gallatin, St. Louis
1963-64 - Alex Hannum, San Francisco
1964-65 - Red Auerbach, Boston
1965-66 - Dolph Schayes, Philadelphia
1966-67 - Johnny Kerr, Chicago
1967-68 - Richie Guerin, St. Louis
1968-69 - Gene Shue, Baltimore
1969-70 - Red Holzman, New York
1970-71 - Dick Motta, Chicago
1971-72 - Bill Sharman, Los Angeles
1972-73 - Tom Heinsohn, Boston
1973-74 - Ray Scott, Detroit
1974-75 - Phil Johnson, Kansas City-Omaha
1975-76 - Bill Fitch, Cleveland
1976-77 - Tom Nissalke, Houston
1977-78 - Hubie Brown, Atlanta
1978-79 - Cotton Fitzsimmons, Kansas City
1979-80 - Bill Fitch, Boston
1980-81 - Jack McKinney, Indiana
1981-82 - Gene Shue, Washington
1982-83 - Don Nelson, Milwaukee
1983-84 - Frank Layden, Utah
1984-85 - Don Nelson, Milwaukee
1985-86 - Mike Fratello, Atlanta
1986-87 - Mike Schuler, Portland
1987-88 - Doug Moe, Denver
1988-89 - Cotton Fitzsimmons, Phoenix
1989-90 - Pat Riley, LA Lakers
1990-91 - Don Chaney, Houston
1991-92 - Don Nelson, Golden State
1992-93 - Pat Riley, New York
1993-94 - Lenny Wilkens, Atlanta
1994-95 - Del Harris, Los Angeles Lakers
1995-96 - Phil Jackson, Chicago
1996-97 - Pat Riley, Miami
1997-98 - Larry Bird, Indiana
1998-99 - Mike Dunleavy, Portland
1999-00 - Doc Rivers, Orlando
2000-01 - Larry Brown, Philadelphia
2001-02 - Rick Carlisle, Detroit
2002-03 - Gregg Popovich, San Antonio
2003-04 - Hubie Brown, Memphis
2004-05 - Mike D'Antoni, Phoenix
2005-06 - Avery Johnson, Dallas
2006-07 - Sam Mitchell, Toronto
2007-08 - Byron Scott, New Orleans
2008-09 - Mike Brown, Cleveland
2009-10 - Scott Brooks, Oklahoma City
2010-11 - Tom Thibodeau, Chicago
2011-12 - Gregg Popovich, San Antonio
2012-13 - George Karl, Denver
2013-14 -- Gregg Popovich, San Antonio
2014-15 - Mike Budenholzer, Atlanta