First-year head coach Tom Thibodeau has guided the Chicago Bulls to an impressive 39-17 record.
With every Bulls victory, Thibodeau's case for coach of the year continues to get stronger.
Due to his tenacity and knowledge of the game, the Bulls are in great position for making a run a the NBA Finals.
Thibodeau spends hours watching footage and game-planning to ensure his team is fully prepared for every opponent.
Have Thibodeau's studies paid off?
Find out here if Thibodeau is receiving a passing grade at b/r Coaching Report Card.
An alum from Boston Celtics University, Thibodeau has done an excellent job this season conveying his message to his students by preaching defense first and offense second.
His teaching methods have helped Derrick Rose's game evolve into elite status.
Rose has not only become a great shooter this season; he has become a better defender.
His players respect Thibodeau completely as they truly believe in what he is selling.
Some thought it would have taken longer for players to adapt to Thibodeau's grueling scheme, but it has been a smooth transition thus far.
However, Thibodeau will not receive an "A+" until he has Carlos Boozer fully focused on defense and he has a game plan for Kyle Korver.
We all know the type of fire Thibodeau carries with him on and off the court.
He is a competitor and he demands the same from his players.
Players sometimes will try to avoid his glare-that-can-kill if they make a mistake during a game, but his stubbornness to win is the type of quality the players love.
Before the Bulls faced the San Antonio Spurs in a game they won 109-99, Rose was called into Thibodeau's office for an inspiring pep talk.
Rose responded to Thibodeau's spirited speech by baffling the Spurs with a career-high 42 points.
Rose talked about Thibodeau's speech after the game stating,"When you've got a coach getting emotional like that, it's going to make you want to play hard, especially me. I love a coach where he's showing emotion, even before the game when it's just me and him talking."
His passion for the game evokes confidence and energy to his players.
Under Thibodeau, the Bulls have developed a defensive attitude.
The defensive system, crafted in Boston, has brought the Bulls to an elite level this year.
The Bulls are currently third in the league allowing opponents 92 points per game with a shooting percentage of .431.
Bulls' opponents are shooting just .329 from the three-point line, which ties for first in the league with the Miami Heat.
The Bulls have been a rebounding machine this season both offensively and defensively. They currently rank third in the league averaging 43.9 rebounds a game, with 32 of them being defensive boards.
The Bulls' swarming defense has caused at least 14 turnovers per game.
Thibodeau's dedication to execution on defense has made the Bulls a championship-caliber team.
As soon as Boozer improves the defensive side of his game, the Bulls could have one of the best defenses in the league.
Even with having one of the best players in the game, Thibodeau is not the greatest offensive play-caller.
He has made some questionable calls and timeouts during this season.
Let's not rehash the ugly reminder of the Denver Nuggets game
The Bulls are not going to scare a team away with their offense because they do not have enough playmakers to score at will.
Outside of Rose and Boozer, Thibodeau has a hard time relying on any other player.
Thibodeau has done a fantastic job utilizing Luol Deng's potential, but he has looked horrible with helping Kyle Korver adjust to the Bulls new system.
Thibodeau has found a niche with Keith Bogans and Kurt Thomas, but he has not received the most out of other players such as C.J. Watson or Ronnie Brewer.
Thibodeau has done an excellent job with what many thought was an mediocre bench.
Ronnie Brewer has been a spark off the bench as he has been a leader when the second rotation comes in.
Taj Gibson has been a force on defense when his number is called.
Kurt Thomas and Keith Bogans have been a veteran influence on the floor and they have provided solid defense. Both players stepped up during Joakim Noah's absence.
Omer Asik has been a bright spot for Thibodeau as he is been a great defender and excellent rebounder.
Thibodeau's biggest disappointments on his bench have been Korver and Watson as he still is trying to figure out what to exactly to do with both of them.
Tom Thibodeau has looked amazing in his first year as a head coach.
He has worked hard with every player and has provided a positive atmosphere to the Chicago Bulls locker room.
He has managed to guide the Bulls to the third best record in the Eastern Conference at 39-17 and with a comfortable 13-game lead over the Pacers in the Central Division.
He is the clear front-runner for coach of year due to the many injuries the team has had to overcome.
He has been without Noah for 30 games and he was without Carlos Boozer for first 15 games of the season.
It is truly remarkable what Thibodeau has accomplished this season with so many obstacles he had to face.