On Thursday, the Chicago Bulls made a surprising yet expected move, as they fired head coach Tom Thibodeau. Reports surfaced that he clashed with the front office, much like future Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson did near the end of his tenure with the team.
Both coaches preached excellent philosophies, however they became quickly outdated which led to their release from the organization. Jackson went on to use his triangle system again for the Los Angeles Lakers, which succeeded and led him to 5 NBA championships for the organization.
Thibodeau’s superb defensive ideology should attract many teams. The Bulls defense under Thibodeau (since 2010-11) has allowed 92.6 points per game (1st in the league), 43.2 field goal percentage (tie for 1st in the league) as well as 38.3 points in the paint per game (2nd in the league).
While Thibodeau does make quite an impact, having great defensive minded players like Joakim Noah and Luol Deng does help. Look for teams like the Orlando Magic and New Orleans Pelicans to seek Thibodeau’s services.
The Magic are a team on the rise with a young core, and Thibodeau would provide an unmatched impact on the players. The Pelicans on the other hand can score, but where they really lack is their discipline on defense. Thibodeau could turn this group that barely made the playoffs this year into perennial contenders in a few years, as long as Anthony Davis continues to develop.
Don’t expect Thibodeau to become the next Phil Jackson, but do expect him to become a very well put together coach for whatever team he will end up on next year.