RAGING BULL(S)

Posted: May 4, 2011 in NBA

trophy
Congratulations to Tom Thibodeau! Oh ya, and Derrick Rose! This week it was confirmed that Tom Thibodeau won the NBA’s coach of the year after leading the Chicago Bulls to the Eastern Conference’s best mark this season (62 wins) in his first season at the helm. Last year Thibodeau was the most coveted coach on the market after years of respectable work on Boston’s coaching bench beside Doc Rivers. For the previous three seasons Thibodeau was the associate coach of the Boston Celtics (NBA.com). Thibodeau was widely  credited with the defensive efforts displayed over the past few years with the Big 3 that led to their lone championship in 2008. A work-aholic as described by former and current teammates, no one in the league deserved this win more than him. There was speculation that Greg Papovich of the San Antonio Spurs was a strong candidate as well, as he should have been. Paps led the Spurs to the second best record in the NBA this year with 61 wins, one shy of tying for league best. But in the end the rookie head coach won out and I could not agree more. His tenacity, passion and intensity during games and in practice make him the easy vote to take home the trophy this year.

The hardware kept coming this year in Chicago as Derrick Rose yesterday was confirmed as the NBA’s MVP and also the youngest NBA MVP in league history at 22. By receiving the award so young he supplants Wes Unseld as the youngest NBA MVP of all time, who won the award as well as the Rookie of the Year award back in the 1968-69 season. There have been a hand full of other great young MVP’s including but not limited to Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell and Kareem “The Dream” Abdul Jabbar. Now of course these players were centers and power forwards who averaged historic numbers during their careers so to say Derrick is putting his name in the same hat as them would be absurd, but he is certainly making his mark in the NBA.

Dwight Howard received the second most votes this year after a superman like season, followed by Lebron James and Kobe Bryant. Now I want to take nothing away from Derrick Rose winning the MVP this year as he absolutely deserved it, given his stat line of 25.0PPG, 7.7APG, 4.1RPG but Howards line of 23PPG 14 RPG and 2.4BPG are just as gaudy. The big argument for Derrick Rose is that a PG has so much control over the game, they are the QB to their team on the court directing the flow, calling the plays and usually playing ball facilitator. Also many people use the injruies to Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer as strong evidence that he put the team on his back. However they only missed about 5 games combined during the long DL stretches early in the season, so he always had at least one formidable big man in the lineup.

The center position is just as crucial as they rule the paint and ultimately can affect how many buckets the opposition will get from close range. I tried to compare the teams to see who had the weaker cast, and although in play I would argue Howard had more lackluster defenders on his team with aging-past-their-prime stars, the Magic scored just under 100PPG as a team. Chicago only had four players scoring in double digits the whole season, granted combined they averaged 71PPG, but being the tallest person amongst the masses on average when I find myself playing any sport I always like to give respect to the big man whenever I can. Dwight, you had an amazing year and deserved the MVP just as much for all your efforts. With these HOF stat lines you keep producing, you’ll make centers everywhere proud soon enough.

All in all a spectacular season by the Chicago Bulls, MVP, COY, and an overall #1 seed in the NBA playoffs hopefully this magical season keeps rolling and the awards keep mounting. The only way is to find out by watching the NBA playoffs and remember, you mess with Bull you get…well you know.

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