Hawks’ Mike Budenholzer named 2014-15 NBA Coach of the Year

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The Hawks came out of nowhere to win 60 games during the regular season and finish as the top-seeded team in the Eastern Conference.

As a reward for the accomplishment, Atlanta’s Mike Budenholzer was named Coach of the Year.

The race was fairly close, mainly because there was a go0d argument to be made for Steve Kerr winning it in his first season with the Warriors, for taking a good team and turning them into one that’s potentially historically great.

I’m not sure I agree with Kidd and Stevens finishing third and fourth respectively, mainly because of their team’s won-loss records. The Bucks finished 41-41, and the Celtics finished sub-.500 at 40-42 in the watered-down Eastern Conference.

Gregg Popovich gets overlooked because he’s been guiding the Spurs to at least 50 wins going on 16 straight seasons, and would have been a better choice for third; three of us placed Popovich there on our hypothetical ballots.

But this was a two-man race all along, and Budenholzer winning the award for what he did with this Hawks team was indeed well-deserved.

Full voting results can be viewed below, and if you’re just dying to know who, exactly, decided that Jeff Hornacek was worthy of a vote, a complete list of who voted for whom can be viewed here.

Coach, Team                                           1st                           2nd                      3rd                     Pts

Mike Budenholzer, Atlanta                         67                       58                       4                          513

Steve Kerr, Golden State                              56                       61                       8                          471

Jason Kidd, Milwaukee                                  1                          5                          37                       57

Brad Stevens, Boston                                     2                          4                          28                       50

Gregg Popovich, San Antonio                     3                          —                         23                       38

Kevin McHale, Houston                                 —                         —                         13                       13

Tom Thibodeau, Chicago                              1                          1                          2                          10

Quin Snyder, Utah                                           —                         1                          4                          7

David Blatt, Cleveland                                    —                         —                         3                          3

Doc Rivers, L.A. Clippers                                —                         —                         2                          2

Terry Stotts, Portland                                     —                         —                         2                          2             

Rick Carlisle, Dallas                                         —                         —                         1                          1

Dwane Casey, Toronto                                     —                         —                         1                          1

Jeff Hornacek, Phoenix                                   —                         —                         1                          1

Monty Williams, New Orleans                       —                         —                         1                          1

Vince Carter wins NBA Sportsmanship Award

Hawks forward Vince Carter
Jason Miller/Getty Images
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Vince Carter’s 22-year NBA career ended amid the chaos of coronavirus, preventing him from getting the deserved fanfare.

But fellow players will send Carter into retirement with the NBA Sportsmanship Award.

NBA release:

NBA players have selected Vince Carter as the recipient of the 2019-20 NBA Sportsmanship Award, the NBA announced today.

Carter, who spent the 2019-20 season with the Atlanta Hawks, announced his retirement from the NBA in June after playing a league-record 22 seasons.  He receives the Joe Dumars Trophy as the winner of the NBA Sportsmanship Award.  Dumars, a two-time NBA champion and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, played 14 NBA seasons and won the inaugural Sportsmanship Award in the 1995-96 season.

Each NBA team nominated one of its players for the NBA Sportsmanship Award, which is designed to honor a player who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court.  From the list of 30 team nominees, a panel of league executives selected one finalist from each of the NBA’s six divisions.  Current NBA players selected the winner from the list of six finalists, with more than 250 players submitting their votes through confidential balloting conducted by the league office.

Full voting (with first-, second-, third-, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-place votes and voting points):

1. Vince Carter (Hawks): 143-70-34-13-4-2-2,520

2. Garrett Temple (Nets): 22-78-63-52-25-26-1,746

3. Steven Adams (Thunder): 34-57-41-52-58-24-1,632

4. Harrison Barnes (Kings): 24-25-75-48-35-59-1,418

5. Langston Galloway (Pistons): 23-22-29-60-79-53-1,244

7. Tyus Jones (Grizzlies): 20-14-24-41-65-102-1,016

What a nice honor for Carter, who gracefully aged from high-profile star to veteran mentor.

Heat: Bam Adebayo, Goran Dragic doubtful for Game 2 of NBA Finals

Heat players Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic
Jim Poorten/NBAE via Getty Images
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Bam Adebayo‘s and Goran Dragic‘s injuries… not looking great for the Heat approaching Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

Heat:

This is a disaster for Miami. The Lakers dominated Game 1, and now the Heat have two starters hobbled at best. At worst and more likely, Adebayo and Dragic are out.

Adebayo would be the bigger loss. Miami was completely overmatched when facing Anthony Davis without a center. Kelly Olynyk and Meyers Leonard can try to keep up, but they’re far from great solutions.

At least the Heat have more options at point guard. Kendrick Nunn can get an elevated role (especially after excelling in garbage time of Game 1). Jimmy Butler can become the de facto point guard. Tyler Herro can also play the position. But Dragic was playing so well during Miami’s run through the Eastern Conference. This is also a major setback.

 

Report: Tyronn Lue ‘early favorite’ to become Clippers head coach

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Doc Rivers is gaining momentum in the 76ers’ coaching search.

As for the job Rivers left behind with the Clippers… Clippers assistant and former Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue, unsurprisingly, has the inside track.

Marc Stein of The New York Times:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

The Clippers are planning to interview other candidates, starting soon, sources said.

The New Orleans Pelicans are planning to interview Lue in the near future too, sources said.

Lue would be a sensible hire. He has championship experience, which would help the Clippers hit the ground running in a make-or-break season before Kawhi Leonard and Paul George can become unrestricted free agents. Lue managed stars in LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. The Clippers must improve their chemistry around their stars. And the last time Lue got promoted from assistant to head coach, his team won a title.

New Orleans also has an appealing job. But the Clippers are far closer to championship contention. And if both teams want Lue, I bet Clippers owner Steve Ballmer would outspend Pelicans owner Gayle Benson.

Still, the Clippers are conducting a coaching search. Other candidates could emerge. This isn’t necessarily Lue’s job for the taking.

How long would he wait on L.A. if the Pelicans make an offer? Lue has shown he values being entrusted.

Report: 76ers focused on Doc Rivers and Mike D’Antoni in coaching search

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The 76ers appeared focused on Mike D’Antoni in their coaching search.

Then, Doc Rivers surprisingly became available.

The former Clippers coach met with the 76ers and is now in the center of the conversation.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

For the Sixers now, the focus is on Rivers and D’Antoni, a source told ESPN. A decision is expected this week.

Rivers would be an easier fit with this roster than D’Antoni, whose style doesn’t appear to work as well with both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Rivers also looks like he’d help Philadelphia take the next step.

But that seemed like it’d be true with the Clippers and wasn’t.

Tyronn Lue’s candidacy with the 76ers has clearly faded. Could he join the Clippers, Rockets or Pelicans? If Philadelphia hires Rivers, maybe D’Antoni still lands with the Pacers?

Rivers’ availability has definitely thrown a wrench in the coaching carousel.