In less than a year since taking over as head coach, Mike Budenholzer has totally transformed the Bucks.
They went from being one of the worst defensive teams to the best in the NBA. They rebound at a high level, they don't foul and they punish opponents with a potent offensive attack built on points in the paint and letting three-pointers fly.
After years of up-and-down play, the Bucks were consistent on their way to recording the best record in the league. They lost two games in a row just onceand won the season series against every Eastern Conference foe. Budenholzer's schemes, love of efficiency in all aspects of life and individual development – known as "vitamins" – are hallmarks of his philosophy that have paid dividends since the day he arrived in Milwaukee last spring.
At this point, though, all of that is as obvious and well known as Budenholzer's facial contortions on the sidelines. Those are the reasons why Budenholzer was selected by his peers as the National Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year on Saturday.
“If you look at the standings, the job he’s done is just tremendous," Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, a former Budenholzer assistant, said earlier this month. "It’s not even a race."
But there's more to Budenholzer's impact than meets the eye.