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Can Tom Thibodeau lead the Bulls to the next level?
2010-06-25

Since winning six NBA titles form 1991-98, the Chicago Bulls franchise has been struggling to move past the Michael Jordan era. In the last 12 years, Chicago has managed to post only two winning seasons. During this period, the Bulls have been able to win just a single postseason series. Since Phil Jackson departed the scene in Chicago after the 1998 campaign, seven different head coaches have guided the Bulls. Now, Boston Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau will become Chicago's eighth head coach since the end of Jackson's glorious run with the franchise. Thibodeau will be a head coach in the league for the first time. He has certainly paid his dues in the NBA as an assistant over the last two decades. Before landing in Boston prior to the 2007-08 campaign, Thibodeau served stints as an assistant for the Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks and Houston Rockets. He became a notable head coaching candidate after helping the Celtics win a championship in his first season with the club. Thibodeau has been praised throughout the league for his ability to improve teams defensively, and NBA betting knows this is a key to the Bulls become a powerhouse again.



He will take over a Bulls squad that isn't too far away from becoming a serious contender in the Eastern Conference. After posting an average of just 20 wins per year in the first six seasons following the dismantling of the 1998 title squad, Chicago has managed to reach the postseason in five of the last six campaigns. The goal in the years to come will be to make some deep playoff runs. Thibodeau will certainly have some talent to work with. All-Star point guard Derrick Rose is already one of the best backcourt performers in the league at the age of 21. He averaged 21 points and 6 assists per game last season. Forward Luol Deng (18 points, 7 rebounds per game last season) has been a solid frontcourt scorer in his six years in the league. He is only 25 years of age. In the middle, center Joakim Noah has made some steady improvement during his three years in the NBA. Last year, the 25-year-old Noah averaged 11 points and 11 rebounds per outing. With a strong, young nucleus in place and no significant free agents on its own roster to deal with this summer, Chicago should be able to make some additions to its club during the offseason. MVP LeBron James heads a strong free agent class. While James is leaning towards staying in Cleveland, the Bulls are viewed as the top contender to land him if he departs the Cavaliers. Besides James, there are a few other significant free agents that might view Chicago as a good destination. The Bulls should also be able to add a solid contributor in the draft. Chicago will have the 17th overall selection in the first round of the draft. So, Thibodeau is in a good position with a franchise that appears to be on the rise.


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