If you consider the fact that reigning MVP Derrick Rose missed almost half the season to various injuries, the Chicago Bulls had a hell of a season. The Bulls still would’ve had a hell of a season even if Rose hadn’t missed all those games. They finished with the same record as the San Antonio Spurs and looked great, especially on defense even when Rose was out. Much of the credit goes to head coach Tom Thibodeau for installing a system that can succeed without its superstar and getting your players to buy in to said system.
Thibs could’ve easily been Coach of the Year for the second straight season, and he had a right to believe it was his. Still, Neil Hayes with the Chicago Sun-Times writes Thibs didn’t seem to mind one bit that he lost out to San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.
“The thing about Pop is he’s a great example for our profession,” Thibodeau said. “I’m happy for him. He’s had a great season. The way he runs an organization, you can’t say enough about him. The thing I really admire about him is I had an opportunity to meet him 20 years ago and he’s the same guy today that he was then. All the success, the championships, he hasn’t changed one bit.”
Great words from a great coach. Like them or not (and I really don’t mostly because of Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah), the Bulls have a great head coach. If Rose can come back healthy next season, there’s no reason to think they won’t be right back in the hunt for the NBA title. They’ve got the right guy on the bench to guide them there. That being said, they’ll be lucky to get by Philadelphia and if they do, they’ll have a hungry Boston Celtics team waiting for them.