5 Reasons Why Chicago Bulls’ Tom Thibodeau Should Win 2014 NBA Coach of the Year

Why Tom Thibodeau Should Win Coach of the Year

Tom Thibodeau Chicago Bulls
Tom Szczerbowski-USA Today Sports

Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau had to deal with as many issues as any coach in the NBA this season. Despite all he had to endure, he led the Bulls to a 48-win season and the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. Here are the reasons why Thibodeau should win the 2014 NBA Coach of the Year.

5. Representative of Team Identity

Chicago Bulls Huddle
Tom Szczerbowski-USA Today Sports

5. Representative of Team Identity

Chicago Bulls Huddle
Tom Szczerbowski-USA Today Sports

Thibodeau is an intense, hard-nosed coach, and his team plays with that attitude. The Bulls coach always gets his players to provide max effort and play smart, tough basketball. It's this mentality that keeps the Bulls competitive when aging veterans like Carlos Boozer, Mike Dunleavy and Kirk Hinrich are playing significant minutes.

4. Emergence of Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah Tom Thibodeah
Tom Szczerbowski-USA Today Sports

4. Emergence of Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah Tom Thibodeah
Tom Szczerbowski-USA Today Sports

Under Thibodeau's tutelage, Noah has emerged as one of the best players in the NBA. He's a legitimate MVP and Defensive Player of the Year candidate, and his success on the defensive end is due in large part to Thibodeau's emphasis on protecting the rim. Noah put up career highs in points per game, rebounds per game and assists per game, and he finished with four triple-doubles as well.

3. Loss of Luol Deng

Luol Deng Cleveland
Mark D. Smith-USA Today Sports

3. Loss of Luol Deng

Luol Deng Cleveland
Mark D. Smith-USA Today Sports

Deng led the Bulls in scoring over the first 23 games of the season before being traded to Cleveland. Many saw the trade as a sign that Chicago was attempting to tank in an effort to get a high pick in the 2014 Draft. Instead, the team went 39-20 after the trade as Thibodeau got increased production out of Jimmy Butler and Mike Dunleavy.

2. Stifling Team Defense

Chicago Bulls Defense
Sam Sharpe-USA Today Sports

2. Stifling Team Defense

Chicago Bulls Defense
Sam Sharpe-USA Today Sports

Solid defense has been the mark of a team coached by Tom Thibodeau for years, and this season was no different. The Bulls led the league in points allowed per game at 91.8 and did it by playing coordinated team defense. Noah led the league in Defensive Win Shares, but Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, Carlos Boozer and Mike Dunleavy all ranked in the top-15 in that category.

1. No Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose Suit
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA Today Sports

1. No Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose Suit
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA Today Sports

It's easy to forget how good Rose actually was when fully healthy, but he's only a few years removed from winning MVP. When Rose went down again in just the 11th game of the season, many who had Chicago as preseason favorites wrote off any chance the Bulls had at making the playoffs. Now, Chicago holds the No. 4 seed and played .500 or better basketball against Indiana, Miami, and Brooklyn this year.

Walter Bergeson is a writer for Rantsports.com.  Follow him on twitter @WalterBSports or add him to your network on Google

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