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Budenholzer facing old team from a lofty perch

Mike Budenholzer will take to the bench tonight as the coach of the team with the NBA’s best record, and he’ll get to do it against his old team.

The Atlanta Hawks, coached  by Budenholzer from 2013 through last spring, visit Fiserv Forum in Game 4 of Milwaukee’s six-game home stand. Budenholzer posted a 213-197 record in his five seasons in Atlanta, including a 60-22 mark in the 2014-15 season.

Things soured when Atlanta allowed free agents to leave and traded away others, and the Hawks went 24-58 least season. Budenholzer and Hawks management mutually parted ways after the season, and the Bucks gladly took on Budenholzer in the summer.

To say it’s worked out well would be a major understatement, as the Bucks’ 26-10 record leads the NBA.

Budenholzer’s “Let It Fly” offensive philosophy, along with the free-agent signing of center Brook Lopez, has resulted in the Bucks ranking second in the league in 3-pointers made and attempted. They’ve won their last four and eight of their last nine,

The Bucks are led by forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who averages 26.3 points, 12.6 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game.

The Hawks, meanwhile, enter with an 11-26 mark in a rebuilding season. Second-year forward John Collins leads the Hawks in scoring (18.8) and rebounding (10.3), and rookie Trae Young in assists (7.4). They had won 5 of 6 before losing their last two games.

Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova will return tonight after missing the previous eight games with a broken nose.

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