Thibodeau is in his 3rd year as the head coach of the Chicago Bulls, after being an assistant NBA coach for over 20 years. I had high hopes for Thibs, even though he wasn’t the Bulls top choice. Even with a winning record, I have serious doubts about his ability to take the Bulls to a NBA championship. Can you say Doug Collins?
Much like Collins when he coached the Bulls, Thibodeau will do anything to win a game. There’s a big difference between an assistant coach and a head coach. As an assistant coach, you could be a great X’s & O’s guy, a defensive guru or a offensive specialist, and really want to help the team be prepared to win every game. I’d suggest to you that a good head coach takes all that into account as well as the long term view of what’s best for the team in order to win a NBA championship. This is where I find Thibodeau wanting.
As a Bulls season ticket holder for over 20 years, I’m a big Bulls fan and have watched more NBA games than I’d like to admit. My concern about Thibs started last year when I noted he often had his starters in the game, long after the game was out of reach. I started looking at the box scores to verify minutes played. When Derrick Rose missed games in mid season last year, I was concerned that Thibs would probably bring Rose back too early and I’d say he did. One Rose injury later and here we are with a Roseless team for the 2012 season.
So here we are in the beginning of the season and Thibs hasn’t learned a thing. His mission is still to win every game at any cost, and its costing the Bulls plenty. My sense is that Thibs thinks that in winning as many games, one-at-a-time, is the best way to prepare for the playoffs, and I’d tell you he’s dead wrong. Winning early games by playing your starters a ridiculous amount of minutes is fools gold. Enough with my opinion, lets go to the facts;
– in a meaningless preseason game against the Timberwolves, Thibodeau had all his starters playing the last 5 minutes of the game, with a 12 point lead while no Timberwolve starters were in the game.
– the Bulls blew a 27 point lead against the Bucks on 11/26. The reason, the starters were dead tired and Thibs played Luol Deng 47 out of 48 minutes.
– with a record of 6-6, the Bulls Deng and Noah led the NBA in minutes played. Why would a .500 team have the top 2 players in minutes played?
– in Noah’s last 3 games, he’s played 44, 43 & 44 minutes.
– currently the Bulls are 11-8 and Luol Deng and Joaquim Noah are still leading the NBA in minutes played.
I’m aware of the Bulls injuries, but you’d be hard pressed to tell me why any player should ever play 47 of 48 minutes. The Bulls aren’t going anywhere this season, and even if they were, having our top 2 players averaging 40 minutes this early in the season is absurd. And how about getting our 1st round draft choice – Teague, some valuable playing time rather than Robinson. It’s all because Thibodeau is too short cited and trying to win every game without taking the long term effect into account.
The Bulls should make the playoffs this year, and I’m just hoping they don’t bring Rose back this year. In the mean time the Bulls will win a few more than they lose, and get eliminated in the first or second round of the playoffs. Take note of the Bulls players minutes, as Thibodeau runs the Bulls into the ground.