How is it that this guy is a rookie head coach? After years of sitting on the bench as an assistant the Chicago Bulls finally gave coach Tom Thibodeau his first head coaching job in the NBA and what a job he has done.
In his first year he tied a record for most wins (62) for a rookie head coach which was good enough for the best record in the entire NBA. On Sunday his accomplishments were recognized as he was named the NBA Coach of the Year. Thibodeau is the fourth coach in Bulls history to win the award. Johnny "Red" Kerr (66-67), Dick Motta (70-71) and Phil Jackson(95-96, the years they won 72 games) won the award before.
Thibs from day one has seemed like he has been doing this for years. He has dealt with numerous injuries to players including losing Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah both for extended periods of time. But no sweat to Thibs.
He has developed the bench into one of the best in the entire NBA by playing them as a unit early on in the season and stuck with that. Tom most importantly got his star, Derrick Rose, to believe in him. Drose feels that Thibs is the guy who will help him get better and help him achiever the ultimate goal of a championship. That is huge for a teacher like Tom to be paired with a star who wants to be taught.
Probably the second most important thing Thibs had accomplished this season was getting small forward Luol Deng to play like everyone in Chicago hoped he could. Deng still isn't perfect but he is playing great filling up the box score with steals, blocks, assists, rebounds and getting 17-20 points a night while guarding the best opposing wing player.
Coach Thibs next assignment starts Monday against the Atlanta Hawks. The Bulls will be looking to return to the conference finals for the first time since the Championship Era. I would except a nice little announcement/ceremony on Monday at game 1 of the second round so the home crowd can let Thibs know how much we appreciate the job he has done.
Now the real question is how long do we have to wait for the announcement that Drose has won the MVP? Maybe Tuesday with him getting the award before game 2.