If the NBA had an event to announce its awards this season, the Chicago Bulls would go unnoticed on the red carpet lacking style, but would walkout with major hardware once the show started. Not only is Derrick Rose the MVP of the league, Tom Thibodeau should receive coach of the year honors.
At the start of this season, the best case scenario for the Chicago Bulls was home court advantage in the first round. They couldn’t keep up with the Atlanta Hawks or Orlando Magic let alone the Heat trio or the Celtics. Luckily, games actually had to be played, and 82 games later the Chicago Bulls are the first seed, not just in the East but in the entire NBA.
Dwight Howard and LeBron James both have had great seasons, and arguments could be made for both as this season’s Most Valuable Player. LeBron should win the MVP, of any and all fantasy basketball leagues. No one fills up the stat sheet like he does, if you were starting a team tomorrow LeBron would be your first pick. However, in this MVP race he is the third horse as Dwight Howard has had a great year, carrying the Magic on both ends of the floor. Howard was supposed to be this good and the Orlando Magic were supposed to take the final step this season towards a championship. Leaders don’t miss games due to technical fouls though, and can Howard create his own shot in a tight ballgame?
Stats are great, winning is greater and that is what separates Derrick Rose from everyone else in the MVP race this season. 62 wins and 20 losses, 10 games better than the Magic and four games better than the record setting Miami Heat with a 73-9, sorry that was a preseason figure, 58-24 actual Heat record.
The MVP campaign started before the season even started, asked at media day who he thought would win the award Derrick threw out his name as a candidate point blank. That was just the beginning of this blossoming rose, as we soon found out his off the court confidence all stemmed from his on the court leadership. With Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah sitting out a combined 60 games due to injury, Rose took it in stride, didn’t use it as an excuse and didn’t let his teammates use it as an excuse.
While the “Superfriends” were working out the kinks down in Miami, the Bulls with seven new faces just played basketball. The annual dreadful circus trip which forces the Bulls to leave home for 10 days in November turned out to be not so dreadful, first time with a winning record since the Jordan Era going 4-3 on the trip. Why the winning record this year? Rose has a will to win, and when it is needed that next level is kicked in to make sure his team, city and coach aren’t let down.
Tom Thibodeau won over his superstar before the season even started. With Rose bought into his philosophy everyone else fell in line or else they had to deal with both the head coach and superstar in their ear. Finding a way as a first year head coach to have a team all pull in the same direction is hard enough, but doing it with seven new players is unheard of. Thibodeau tied Paul Westphals 62-20 record for a rookie head coach.
No personal statistics were used in this entire article, just wins and losses. For this seasons Coach of the Year Tom Thibodeau and Most Valuable Player only one more number matters—16—as in wins.