While C.J. Watson is busy spitting unofficial news of Derrick Rose winning the MVP award, one of the NBA’s awards for the 2010-11 season was officially announced on Sunday afternoon.
It was announced that Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was named Coach of the Year for the National Basketball Association.
This really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, though there were certainly other candidates worthy of the honor. That list included George Karl, who took a Carmelo-less Nuggets team to a top five seed in the Western Conference.
Nonetheless, it’s certainly incredible what Thibs has managed to do with this Bulls squad in just one season. After missing out on big name free agents like LeBron James and Chicago-native Dwayne Wade, the Bulls had to settle for the likes of Carlos Boozer and several role players to fill the void in their overhauled roster.
What they got out of it was the NBA’s best, and deepest, squad this season, finishing the season with a 62-20 mark and going undefeated against the powerhouse Miami Heat during the regular season.
After the Bulls parted ways with Vinny Del Negro, they joined the list of teams in search of Thibodeau’s services as head coach. Having been an assistant coach for several years in the league, Thibs was considered the best man for many coaching jobs, but he may not have been a more perfect fit for anyone but the Bulls.
He came to a young, defensive squad, with a defensive, never-satisfied mentality. And it has paid off for a Bulls team that hasn’t had a truly successful season since Michael Jordan left in 1998. One of the league’s best teams defensively last season, Thibodeau took them to a whole other level and even 62 wins and a first round victory later, the team isn’t satisfied.
Perhaps no one has been affected by the presence of Thibodeau more than the MVP candidate Derrick Rose. Already an impressive future ahead of him coming into the season, Rose elevated his game to outstanding heights in just one season, leading a team that was without Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah for a good chunk of the season and staying out in front of the MVP race in the process.
But it’s that never-satisfied mentality that Thibs brings that has made this team so successful this season. All through the regular season, and after ousting the Indiana Pacers in five games in the first round, we hear how there is still work to be done and that the team hasn’t actually achieved anything yet.
In the City of Broad Shoulders, that’s music to our ears.