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Budenholzer, Malone finding their way to the All-Star Game

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…

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