The Chicago Bulls’ Tom Thibodeau will be named the NBA’s Coach of the Year on Sunday, sources told the Chicago Tribune. A news conference with the Bulls and the NBA is set for 3:30 p.m. CT today at the Berto Center.
He’s well deserving of the award, as the Bulls had the biggest improvement in record of any team in the league. If any NBA team surpassed expectations more than the Bulls this season, it would be difficult to name that team. They added pieces this past summer, but no had them penciled in as the Eastern Conference’s #1 seed.
By Paul M. Banks
What a difference a Thibodeau makes, the Bulls had the league’s #1 defense this season (while playing atrocious defense last year) and adding players in the offseason with the notion of offense first and foremost. They were also the league’s #2 rebounding team. What a huge upgrade he’s been over Vinny Del Negro!
Why did Derrick Rose develop into a MVP? Coach Thibodeau is a huge reason. Basketball is his work/life. Bulls players talk about how Coach Thibs doesn’t even go out and have social meals with people on the road. He’s all business, all the time, and it certainly shows in the 61-21 regular season record.
The Bulls begin their Eastern Conference semi-finals series with Atlanta on Monday night. He talked some of those outstanding Xs and Os, the kind that helped him grab this award.
“This is certainly one of those teams you don’t want to turn the ball over against, because in the open floor they can convert very quickly on you,” Thibodeau said of the Hawks.
“A big part of your defensive transition is having the ability to set your defense, get back and get set, and I think live ball turnovers cause a lot of problems in that area.”
Thibodeau discussed match-ups in the upvoming series.
“We have to be ready for them to go big or go small, so in your planning, I think you plan for both.”
He does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports Radio.com You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank and Facebook