Coach Of The Year

2012 NBA Coach of The Year: Chasing 23 Writers’ Picks

This year came down to a two-man race: Thibs or Pop? The results for 2012 NBA Coach of the Year are in:

THE NBA Realist: Tom Thibodeau

By far, the toughest of all of the selections. I cannot remember a more hotly contested COY contest, as both Tom Thibodeau and Gregg Popovich were deserving, once again proving masterful in getting the most out of their teams for the second straight year, while finishing with the best record within their respective conferences.

Popovich once again did a remarkable job blending old with new, by more prominently incorporating players such as Gary Neal, Patty Mills, and Kawhi Leonard, and managing the minutes of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.

Meanwhile Thibs coached the Bulls to the leagues best record despite missing his best player (Derrick Rose) for 27 games, second best player (Luol Deng) for 12 games, and starting SG (Rip Hamilton) for more than ½ the season.

In the end, my vote is for Tom Thibodeau to earn to be the first ever to win consecutive COY award – he simply had more obstacles to overcome.

Honorable Mention: Gregg Popovich

Sean Cribben: Tom Thibodeau

While it pains me to pass over Pop (who, inexplicably, has won COY only once during his long, distinguished tenure with the Spurs) and Doc (whose timely roster adjustments saved the Celtics season), Tom Thibodeau’s masterful orchestration of team bereft of both its superstar (for a significant portion of the season, anyway) as well as a bona fide second banana to the top seed in the Eastern Conference

Honorable Mention: Gregg Popovich

Bruce Blitz (Blitz Sports Network): Tom Thibodeau

This is another easy one for me, but I’ll explain why I’m not picking Gregg Popovich as my coach of the year this season. Gregg Popovich has done a masterful job at managing the minutes of his roster. Popovich’s most well established players are all over the age of 30, and leading that team to the record he has is no joke. Popovich has always been a shrewd operator when it pertains to doing what he believes is best for his team. Popovich has always turned a blind eye and deaf ear to his critics in the media. The San Antonio Spurs do play respectable defense, and have one of the best offenses in the NBA, but that doesn’t erase or eclipse what Tom Thibodeau has done in Chicago.

The Chicago Bulls have the best defense in the league, and let’s not forget, this has been an entire face-lift by Tom Thibodeau in the Chicago defensive philosophy.

Let’s also not overlook the timely substitutions that Tom Thibodeau makes to win games, and he doesn’t care who’s feelings he hurts. It’s all about winning with what he has at that moment in time for Tom Thibodeau.

When you adjust for pace, the Chicago Bulls are a top 6 offense. The Bulls have one of the best passing offenses in the NBA due to the many different half court sets that Tom Thibodeau has drawn up for them. He gets the credit he deserves for being the architect behind the Boston Celtics championship defense, and the #1 rated Chicago Bulls defense of today, but  doesn’t get the credit he deserves for the masterful half court sets that he’s drawn up for the team.

The secret behind the Bulls success is the amazing teamwork and off-the-ball action that is displayed night in and night out on offense. With all of the games missed by Richard Hamilton, Derrick Rose, and the handful by Luol Deng… don’t you think it makes sense to reward this head coach with the COY award considering the rankings? I mean, if you would have told anyone who’s a fan of the game or a media member that the Chicago Bulls would be without Derrick Rose for nearly half the season, and Rip Hamilton would be a non factor in street clothes for most of the season, how many of them would have predicted that the Chicago Bulls would be in the position they are? How about nobody! Just last year everyone was making the argument that Derrick Rose should be the MVP because of the Bulls record and the “trash around him”. “It’s D Rose or bust.” Actually, all due credit to Derrick Rose, but it’s Tom Thibodeau or bust. The sad part is that many people don’t want Tom Thibodeau to be the first ever back to back coach of the year award winner, well, that’s too bad…nobody else is more deserving.

E-Dog: Tom Thibodeau

Thibodeau might not win it this year because no coach has ever won this award in consecutive seasons, but it would be a travesty if he didn’t. The Bulls were ravaged this season by injuries to not just reigning MVP Derrick Rose but also to Luol Deng and Richard Hamilton, among others. Yet they continued to play at a high level regardless of who was on the court, banishing any woe-is-us sentiment that may have otherwise crept in with all the injuries, playing consistently strong defense, and getting important contributions from the likes of not just Taj Gibson and Omer Asik, but C.J. Watson and John Lucas III, among others, as well. Their list of quality wins without Rose (Boston twice, Miami, at Orlando by 26, at Atlanta by 21 and New York, among others) might be more impressive than that of any other team in the league. All of this reflects exceedingly favorably on Thibodeau and his ability to get his team to focus, stay tough-minded and play to the utmost of its collective ability.

Honorable Mention: Gregg Popovich


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