Tom Thibodeau: Why the Chicago Bulls Coach Deserves Extension
Needless to say, the tough-minded, defensive-oriented coach has earned it and here is a quick glance at his body of work that solidifies this sentiment.
The Bulls finished with a 41-41 mark in each of the two seasons prior to hiring Thibodeau with only one playoff series win under their belt since the last title run in 1998.
Despite the lack of experience as a head-coach, Thibodeau guided the Bulls to a 62-20 record, clinching the top seed in the conference.
Along with that, Thibodeau won the Coach of the Year award and Derrick Rose became the league's youngest MVP.
Although the Bulls fell to the Miami Heat 4-1 in the Conference Finals, the Bulls were considered a legitimate title contender.
The Bulls had a couple of different factors working against them in Thibodeau’s second season in the Windy City.
Due to a lockout-shortened season, the team played a lot of back-to-back games and suffered some injuries along the way as well.
Rip Hamilton was sidelined for 38 games and Derrick Rose was out of the lineup for 27 games. Despite the absence of his floor leader, Thibodeau guided the team to an impressive 18-9 mark over that stretch.
Thanks to Thibodeau’s ability to fit players into multiple positions, the Bulls finished the season as the top seed in the conference for the second straight season.
In addition to that, Thibodeau became the fastest coach to win 100 games, reaching the milestone in just 130 contests.
Unfortunately for Thibodeau and his troops, the Bulls suffered an early postseason exit at the hands of the Philadelphia 76ers after Derrick Rose tore his ACL in Game 1, and Joakim Noah was lost for the season following an ankle injury in Game 3.
While this was a disappointing way to end a season, the outcome would have been much different with a healthy roster.
Did the Bulls make the right choice in signing Thibodeau to a multi-year deai?
Everyone expected this season to be a difficult one for the Bulls with Derrick Rose out of the lineup indefinitely and it has lived up to that expectation.
As if Rose not playing this season was bad enough, there have been a number of other players who have spent some time on the injury list.
Hamilton has missed 29 games due to an assortment of injuries and Kirk Hinrich has missed 22 games as well.
Joakim Noah (foot) and Marco Belinelli (abdominal strain) have sat out the last few games, while Taj Gibson is day-to-day after re-injuring his MCL, an injury that caused him to miss 10 games from late February to early March
With everything working against his team, Thibodeau refuses to make excuses and always believes the Bulls have more than enough to win with.
This attitude is one of the major reasons why the Bulls are eight games above .500 with another playoff appearance on the horizon.
It is also the reason why the Bulls will eventually win a title with Thibodeau at the helm.
That being said, not only is Thibodeau deserving of the multi-year extension, he also warrants heavy consideration for Coach of The Year honors as well.
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