2012 NBA Playoffs: Will the Bulls' Lack of Adjustments Cost Thibodeau His Job?
When Carlos Boozer is the best player for the Bulls, one would assume that they run away with the game. Boozer finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds, but his five turnovers came at the worst possible time.
As a team the Bulls had 14 turnovers and played horrible help defense down the stretch, allowing the 76ers' Jrue Holiday to score on the perimeter seemingly at will. So many mistakes and all were a microcosm of what has hurt the Bulls during the season.
Where are the adjustments?
After Game 1, 76ers coach Doug Collins moved guard Evan Turner and center Spencer Hawes into the starting lineup. What did Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau do to counter that?
Where has the Bulls big free agent acquisition Richard Hamilton been in the fourth quarter? That is correct: He has sat on the bench.
If scoring is what ails the Bulls, then why in the hell is a player who is arguably the team’s second-best scoring option glued to the pine in the fourth quarter?
A similar question goes for Mike James, the well-traveled point guard who was once a proven scorer in the NBA. The offense moved seamlessly in James’ limited minutes. James brings the team size, defense and energy.
So does Jimmy Butler. I will not say that Butler should get a ton of minutes but hindsight is 20-20. He can provide young legs and energy to help the lethargic Bulls for a few minutes here and there. He has enough of an overall game to help a Luol Deng find time for rest.
It would have been wise to rest Deng up every chance the Bulls had because they needed his legs for the playoff run.
The Bulls feature too many streaky jump shooters on their roster and jump shooters can shoot you into ballgames and shoot you out of ballgames. Often times than not, the Bulls go on cold streaks, and they are forced to rely on defense to keep the games close enough to win.
So much of Thibodeau’s focus has been on defense that the offense seems forgotten about and stagnant at best.
We all should know the phrase of “defense wins championships.” Well, offense wins ballgames, and teams cannot have one without the other. For as good a coach as Thibodeau is, he has failed at this aspect more so than at the previous things that I have mentioned.
Thibodeau must learn from his coaching mistakes, or he will ultimately suffer the same fate that doomed Doug Collins when he was the Bulls’ coach several years ago.
I know that there is still basketball left for the Bulls, but the offseason will begin a bitter process going forward. There will be questions about the roster in regards to how some players fit in the future, but there should be questions about the coaching staff as well.
With Thibodeau potentially entering into a lame-duck season, the question should be, is he the right coach for this Bulls’ team?
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