In the wake of Derrick Rose’s preseason return to action, many eyes will be on how Tom Thibodeau handles his minutes, as well as the minutes of his other stars, the oft-hurt Luol Deng and Joakim Noah, and those of his younger defensive stars, Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson. Thibodeau insistence on winning every game has chapped a few Bulls fans over his three year tenure, so the experts are going to be keeping a close eye on the health of the players.
Below is a link and and excerpt from an article I wrote detailing the past, present, and future of Thibs’ coaching philosophy:
Tom Thibodeau is widely regarded as the best defensive mind in the NBA. When he was an assistant in Boston under Doc Rivers, the Celtics were always among the league’s best in points allowed. After the Bulls fired Vinny del Negro in 2010, Thibs, as he is affectionately referred to, was the front-runner for the job from the beginning. And his defensive reputation followed him, as the Bulls were atop the NBA defensively in each of his first two seasons as head coach. His record reflected this, as well, because the Bulls were the NBA’s top team in those two years.
However, players often dealt with nagging injuries that they would always choose to play through. Joakim Noah had plantar fasciitis. Luol Deng had bone chips in his wrist. Carlos Boozer had a calf. Derrick Rose had an ankle. But they would always play through it. Whether it was the players’ own personal prerogative or the culture pressed on them by Tom Thibodeau is not clear, but one thing is perfectly clear: Thibs wants, and needs, to win every single game, regular season, postseason, preseason.
This is often the only criticism that befalls the brilliant coach.
As a journalist and a die-hard Bulls fan, this will be the most fascinating story from what hopes to be a very promising Bulls season.