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Hawks' Mike Budenholzer named NBA Coach of the Year

Atlanta Hawks' Mike Budenholzer has been named NBA Coach of the Year

Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer has been named the NBA’s coach of the year, the league announced Tuesday.

Budenholzer received 67 first-place votes and 513 total points from a panel of 130 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. 

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, a three-time winner of the award, broke the news to Budenholzer. The Hawks organization reached out to Popovich, asking the coach if he would prefer to tell his former assistant of 18 years that he won the award, the team said Monday. 

Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors (56 first-place votes, 471 points) was second in the voting and Jason Kidd of the Milwaukee Bucks was third (one first-place vote, 57 points).

Atlanta Hawks: Doing their fair share

Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs' Gregg Popovich, a three-time winner of the award, rounded out the top five in the voting.

In Budenholzer’s second season with the Hawks, he led them to the Eastern Conference’s best record.

Atlanta’s 60 victories were a franchise record, breaking its previous best of 57. The Hawks also had a team-record 19-game winning streak during the season, propelling them to the East's top spot in January. Atlanta saw a 22-win improvement from last season. 

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The Hawks had six players average between 16.7 and 10 points per game and had no player score more than 30 in a game during the season.

[daily_cut.NBA]The team also ranked seventh in defensive efficiency.

The Hawks set a franchise mark for three-pointers in a season, ranked second in the NBA in assists (25.7 apg) and finished in the top five in field goal percentage, three-point field goal percentage and free throw percentage.

The Hawks lead their first-round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets 1-0 after a 99-92 victory. Game 2 is Wednesday in Atlanta.

You can watch Budenholzer's acceptance speech below:

Video via the Atlanta Hawks

- Scooby Axson