Budenholzer, Donovan named NBCA co-coaches of year, Nurse one vote shy


Milwaukee Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer points during the second half of an NBA basketball game. (Nick Wass/AP)

The Milwaukee Bucks‘ Mike Budenholzer and Oklahoma City Thunder‘s Billy Donovan have been named the National Basketball Coaches Association co-coaches of the year, while Toronto Raptors‘ coach Nick Nurse finished just one vote away from forcing a three-way tie, according to ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski.

“Congratulations to Mike Budenholzer and Billy Donovan on this prestigious recognition,” said Dallas Mavericks head coach and NBCA president Rick Carlisle in a statement.

“Mike led the Bucks to the best record in the league for a second straight season and Billy became just the fourth active head coach to lead his team to the playoffs in each of his first five seasons. To win the vote of our peers makes the Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award one of the most meaningful in all of pro sports.”

The award is voted on by the NBA’s 30 head coaches, with each coach being able to nominate a single winner. The Memphis Grizzlies’ Taylor Jenkins, the Portland Trail Blazers’ Nate McMillan, the Miami Heat’s Erik Spoelstra, the Boston Celtics’ Brad Stevens and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Frank Vogel also received votes.

Budenholzer, who won the award last year, has steered the Bucks to the league’s best record at 54-13 and the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Donovan has coached the Thunder to the sixth spot in the West at 41-24 despite shipping out Russell Westbrook last off-season.

Nurse, meanwhile, has guided the Raptors to a 47-18 record, good for second in the East, after losing Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard to the Los Angeles Clippers in free agency.

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