Tom Thibodeau’s Departure is Ultimately for the Best
Breakups aren’t easy, and the separation between former coach Tom Thibodeau and the Chicago Bulls organization was no exception.
While it isn’t easy, it was what needed to happen. Thibs had worn out his welcome with the front office, and it was mostly due to his stubbornness on the court. His inability to work with his superiors ultimately led to his dismissal. Even though that was the root cause, there were more legitimate reasons for Thibs’ exit.
He was known for playing his starters for far too many minutes throughout most of his tenure with the Bulls. He infamously ran Luol Deng into the ground, which led to a sharp decline in his play as he hit his 30th birthday. More recent examples were that of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, who both suffered injuries which appeared partly due to playing too many minutes. Playing his starters too long upped injury risks, but there were also other issues with this strategy.
Players like Tony Snell and Nikola Mirotic were rarely seen throughout the playoffs, despite showing flashes of very good play throughout the season. This was frustrating for Bulls fans, especially to see Niko log so few minutes in the postseason. Mirotic played extremely well while Pau Gasol was out, but he was unable to make the rotation upon his return. Snell looked much improved from his rookie season as well, and yet Thibodeau was reluctant to give him many minutes. Thibs was also notorious for giving veteran Kirk Hinrich too many minutes, as his production has waned in his later years.
Thibs’ departure also gives the Bulls an opportunity to hear a new voice. Somebody who is a little more laid back would most certainly help; a coach that can help improve the offense would also be of great benefit. Thibs was an outstanding defensive-minded coach, but he was unwilling to adapt to the modern NBA offense. This Bulls team had a lot more scoring potential than they ended up showing.
Overall, it’s a tough move for Bulls fans to stomach. Even so, it is ultimately for the best. This is still a great roster, and a new coach with a fresh voice is going to do great things. We might also get to see some of the younger, higher potential players get some more minutes, which would be truly exciting. Hang tight Bulls fans, everything will work out in the end.
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