Milwaukee didn’t get out of the first round of the playoffs last year. Denver didn’t even get into the first round of the playoffs, its postseason hopes thwarted by a loss in the last game of the regular season.
As such, few may have seen this coming.
The perk of getting to coach the All-Star Game goes to the staffs of the teams with the best records in the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference two weeks before the matchup — which this year meant the Bucks’ Mike Budenholzer and the Nuggets’ Michael Malone got the jobs.
So for only the second time in the last 35 seasons, the All-Star coaches are people who weren’t participants in the previous year’s NBA playoffs. Malone missed by a game, and Budenholzer was coaching Atlanta to a 24-58 record. Yet on Feb. 17 in Charlotte, Budenholzer and Malone will be front and center with their chance…