Atlanta’s Budenholzer will coach Eastern Conference All-Stars


VIDEO: Mike Budenholzer talks about being named coach of the East All-Stars

The Atlanta Hawks have sparked debate in recent weeks regarding the 2015 All-Star Game in New York next month, with folks wondering if their ensemble style will be sufficiently honored when the East squad’s reserves are chosen by the conference coaches.

So what happens? The Hawks wind up being the first team to nail down a spot for the Feb. 15 showcase at Madison Square Garden. As it turns out, all of the Hawks’ team success means that coach Mike Budenholzer and his staff will work the game on the East sideline.

Budenholzer, in his second season with Atlanta (35-8), earned the honor when the Hawks beat Indiana Wednesday night at Philips Arena. The victory clinched the best record in the conference through games played on Sunday, Feb. 1, the cutoff for determining the All-Star coaches. Joining Budenholzer will be assistants Kenny Atkinson, Darvin Ham, Taylor Jenkins, Charles Lee, Neven Spahija and Ben Sullivan.

“It’s a credit to our players, our front office and our entire organization,” Budenholzer said. “I really feel strongly about our assistant coaches; I think they do an amazing job. It’s a great honor but it’s our players that put us in this position. It’s the players that deserve the credit.”

By beating Indiana, Atlanta stretched its winning streak to 14 games, matching the longest in franchise history, and won for the 28th time in its past 30 games. Six Hawks scored in double figures, as Atlanta shot better from 3-point range (13 of 29, 44.8 percent) than the Pacers managed overall (31 of 78, 39.7 percent). And yet it was marksman Kyle Korver‘s dunk in the first half that had people talking.

The 33-year-old got loose on a break and threw down for the first time since Nov. 16, 2012. That one, at Sacramento, came 199 games ago according to STATS. It was, by their count, Korver’s 16th dunk in 12 NBA seasons.

Korver has a good chance to join Budenholzer in New York, given his reputation among the league’s coaches and his statistically eye-popping season so far in shooting 50 percent, overall, 50 percent from 3-point range and 90 percent on free throws. But then, strong cases can be made as well for point guard Jeff Teague and big men Paul Millsap and Al Horford.

There’s uncertainty, too, in naming Budenholzer’s counterpart as coach of the West All-Stars. The same Feb. 1 cutoff is in play and Golden State’s Steve Kerr began Wednesday as the favorite owing to the Warriors’ 33-6 mark. But four more teams – Portland (Terry Stotts), Memphis (Dave Joerger), Houston (Kevin McHale) and Dallas (Rick Carlisle) – all were in striking distance with 10 days left.


VIDEO: The Starters talk All-Star Hawks

9 Comments

  1. harriethehawk says:

    Teague and Horford will make reserves. Let’s Go Hawks!!!!

  2. JayJay says:

    I agree. I really do not need to know every update on Lebron. Just give us the news that he is out. Focus on other stories in the NBA. Give me more stories on the HAWKS, DUBS, LILLARD, PISTONS, WALL/WASHINGTON, KD coming back, GREEN to MEMPHIS, etc… If Kobe and Lebron news is what motivates you for stories then I bet those guys are bored silly

  3. Dawn of Da 2nd Bulls Dynasty says:

    As long as he’s in the 3 point shootout, all will be fair

  4. thespectator says:

    this team, provided they continue to play like this and not slow down, will be in the finals. I dont see any team that can beat them in a 7 game series in the east…would be ironic to see spurs vs hawks in the finals…coach pop vs coach bud..

    • Dawn of Da 2nd Bulls Dynasty says:

      …& compared to the regular season, the playoffs is a whole different universe. Don’t over look any of the top five seeds… Healthy, any of them can make it to the finals. I can’t wait!

  5. karl wainferns says:

    Couldn’t be a better choice – well desrved. I’m amazed though it wasn’t reported differently, since ESPN might as well be
    renamed The Cavaliers Television Network – Let’s see, on Tuesday headlines ” Lebron sits out with flu-like symptoms “,
    today, : Lebron pitches Cavs to Allen again “, and ” Cavs have won four in a row ” – So it amazed me that the headline on the NBA site wasn’t more like ” Lebron’s Take On Budenholzer All-Satr Coaching Pick “, or even perhaps, :Lebron Pomders Sitting out Budenholzer-Led East All-Star Team” I guess we’ll get Lebron’s take in the afternoon update. Don’t get me wrong, he is one of the best players in history, no doubt, but can we perhaps give a little more emphasis to the teams and players that are actually doing well in the present !

  6. northmen says:

    He will be coaching a lineup with no players of his…