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The Redemption of Mike Budenholzer

Milwaukee is now a city of champions for just the second time in franchise history. A historic season for the players, especially Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. Not only that, but this triumphant playoff run has also saved Head Coach Mike Budenholzer’s job. He’s been on the hot-seat since his five-game loss to the Miami Heat last year in the 2020 Bubble Playoffs, and it was clear the Milwaukee Bucks needed a deep run for Budenholzer to keep his job secure in Milwaukee.

The Bucks have finished with the NBA’s best record in two of the last three seasons. In fact, Budenholzer won Coach of the Year with Milwaukee in 2019 because of their incredible regular season. Unfortunately, their minimal amount of success in the postseason has caused media outrage towards Coach Budenholzer.

The team under Mike Budenholzer had blown a 2-0 lead in 2019 to the eventual champion Toronto Raptors and was upset by the five-seed Miami Heat the following year in the 2020 playoffs. His lack of adjustments in previous playoff series has caused many fans to doubt his ability to lead a team to playoff success. Budenholzer put those talks to rest after this season.

There were rumors of long-time Dallas Mavericks Head Coach Rick Carlisle leaving Dallas and taking the reins in Milwaukee after their anticipated loss to the Brooklyn Nets. However, the Bucks pulled out a Game Seven victory to the surprise of many, even with the injuries of James Harden and Kyrie Irving. Carlisle eventually took the vacant coaching position for the Indiana Pacers as the Bucks continued to thrive in each playoff series.

Budenholzer and the Bucks faced two separate 0-2 deficits in the Playoffs, including one in the NBA Finals. Despite playing from behind and star player Jrue Holiday struggling, Milwaukee was able to excel in these situations. Budenholzer’s job continued to gain security as his team advanced to an NBA Championship.

There’s no doubt now that Mike Budenholzer will be returning as the Bucks Head Coach next season. While many still think he’s not the best fit for Giannis’ play style, he’s now proven to have excellent regular season and playoff success with Milwaukee. The Bucks organization hopes he can duplicate his success in future years with the team.

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