WBEZ | Tom Thibodeau http://www.wbez.org/tags/tom-thibodeau Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Bulls' coach Tom Thibodeau has the toughest job in Chicago sports http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-04/bulls-coach-tom-thibodeau-has-toughest-job-chicago-sports-106577 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_thibodeau_rich_pedroncelli.jpg" style="float: right; height: 393px; width: 300px;" title="Life has not been easy for Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. (AP/File)" />Right now, the toughest job in Chicago sports belongs to Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau. Last night the Bulls lost another close one: 101-98 to Toronto at the United Center. Thibodeau admitted after the game that they are struggling.</p><p>You may argue that Cubs manager Dale Sveum has a more difficult gig. But he knew what the circumstances were from the moment he took the job.</p><p>Thibodeau knew a season without Derrick Rose would not be easy, yet he never made excuses. A season with several other starters on the bench may have been insurmountable for other head coaches.</p><p>The first two years at the helm of the Bulls, Thibodeau guided his team to the best record in the NBA. In 2011, the club had an exciting playoff run, including the Eastern Conference Finals. Last year the Bulls looked poised for a long run, but the horrible ACL tear to Rose&rsquo;s knee and Joakim Noah&rsquo;s badly sprained ankle ended all hopes. Most NBA predictors ahead of this regular season figured the Bulls would be lucky to be a .500 team or even make the playoffs. They will participate in the post-season, but are undermanned.</p><p>Imagine a coach looking at the bench and seeing starters Rose, Noah, Luol&nbsp;Deng and Richard Hamilton and top sixth man Taj Gibson wearing street clothes instead of Bulls jerseys.</p><p>Yesterday Hamilton made his first appearance since late February. Marco Belinelli is slowly making his way on the court. Noah has had a set back with his foot injury since playing Sunday in Detroit. There is no known return date for the Bulls All-Star center.</p><p>This depleted M*A*S*H unit have beaten some good teams and won games no one figured they could at this point. But they have suffered some dreadful losses, including the last two games.</p><p>The only constant this season had been the Bulls head coach. People not familiar with the day-to-day routine have criticized Thibodeau. These critics think he is too tough on the team. But he has been careful about scheduling practices, especially after a road game. Thibodeau has given his players the day completely off several times, or scheduled film sessions with light work-outs. It has to be a difficult decision considering this coach loves to teach and practices are where that work is done.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Another thankless aspect of Thibodeau&rsquo;s job has been answering every question concerning Rose&#39;s return. He is asked after every practice, before and after games. With only five games left, the odds of the former MVP coming back are slim. At this point is makes little sense.</p><p>The team&rsquo;s front office made several impactful choices this season due to Rose&rsquo;s status, particularly with the bench. How nice it would have been to have Omer Asik, Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Watson or Kyle Korver to be part of this team. Several players on this year&rsquo;s roster, like Jimmy Butler and Nate Robinson, have been helpful putting the Bulls in the position they are right now. However, this team seems to be running out of steam.</p><p><em>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout" target="_blank">@CRayeStout</a>&nbsp;and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame" target="_blank">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame</a>&nbsp;</em></p></p> Wed, 10 Apr 2013 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-04/bulls-coach-tom-thibodeau-has-toughest-job-chicago-sports-106577 Should the battered Chicago Bulls pull the plug on Derrick Rose? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-03/should-battered-chicago-bulls-pull-plug-derrick-rose-106106 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_1rose_charles_rex_arbogast.jpg" style="width: 300px; float: right; height: 437px" title="As Bulls struggle, should Derrick Rose be shut down? (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)" />The Bulls season is like watching the Titanic sink at this point. What a nightmare for the Bulls going on this West coast trip. Losing to the Lakers is one thing. Getting drubbed by the Kings in Sacramento was downright bad.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">No, bad isn&#39;t good enough. They were horrible. This Bulls team is spent. They look just lethargic and totally undermanned no matter who they play against.</div><p>After the 42 point loss to the Kings, Coach Tom Thibodeau said he didn&rsquo;t do his job and he had to have them &ldquo;play harder.&rdquo; There is no way you can say this team has quit on Thibodeau. It appears they just haven&rsquo;t the capability to sustain energy right now.</p><p>All the minutes that have piled up for Luol Deng (avg. 39) and Joakim Noah (avg. 38) has taken a toll on the two All-Stars. As the days go by and the calendar shows only 18 games remaining, it just feels like they have hit the wall.</p><p>On this road trip, Derrick Rose told the media he still does not feel good enough to play in games. What may make sense at this point is to keep him off the court until next season. His mental hurdle seems the most challenging for him at this juncture.</p><p>All the sports talkers and fans insist Derrick should play to complete his rehab. While that will be beneficial to his final stages, unless he is mentally there it will not matter. Players at his elite status seem to have a very difficult time after their first major injury. Some people want to question his toughness. This is one of the aspects about Derrick Rose that should never be brought up. Rose wants to play at the highest level he can. That seems to be more the obstacle. He has a will to be the best and the Bulls guard right now doesn&rsquo;t think he is.</p><p>Maybe if the team took the stand to shut him down, it would help Rose. There is not much time left to the regular season and it doesn&rsquo;t feel like the Bulls will be any threat in the playoffs as they keep tumbling down the Eastern Conference standings.</p><p>It would be a crushing decision for Thibodeau and the team. This uncertainty has reached a point where so many people have been affected and a resolution would help. There isn&rsquo;t a press session before a game, after a game or after a practice that the Bulls coach isn&#39;t asked about Rose. There is nothing he can say or do, it is not Thibodeau&rsquo;s decision. He has to put a team on the court that is missing two starting point guards (Rose and Hindrich), his starting shooting guard (Hamilton) and his best bench player (Gibson).</p><p>Shutting Rose down would be tough on the rest of the team, but they are huge supporters on him. There is not one player that doesn&rsquo;t believe in Derrick.&nbsp;He is the reason they have been&nbsp;as competitive as a team since he put on the Bulls jersey.</p><p><em>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">@CRayeStout</a>&nbsp;and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame</a></em></p></p> Fri, 15 Mar 2013 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-03/should-battered-chicago-bulls-pull-plug-derrick-rose-106106 Is the Bulls recent slump mental or physical? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-02/bulls-recent-slump-mental-or-physical-105798 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_1derrick_rose_rick_bowman_0.jpg" style="float: right; height: 427px; width: 300px;" title="Derrick Rose continues to rehab and shoots before games. (AP Photo/Rick Bowman)" />Are the Bulls troubles on and off the court wearing them down? Yesterday&#39;s win&nbsp; 93-82 over Philadelphia quiets those thoughts for a day. But the strife still seems to be there.</div><p>The team denies that the swirling talk about Derrick Rose is not a factor. Is he coming back? Is he sitting out the season? Reading comments by Derrick&rsquo;s brother opened a big can of worms.</p><p>While Rose continues to be silent, what the media gets to see and hear is limited. At practice we watch him shoot, just like he does before games. Coach Tom Thibodeau is repeatedly asked about the former NBA MVP&#39;s progress.&nbsp;</p><p>No one knows, except Rose and Bulls management, when or if he will be announced in the starting line-up of a game. Reporters are getting tired of asking about it. However, they get orders from their editors to stay on top of the story.&nbsp;</p><p>So when ESPN.com gets quotes from Derrick&#39;s brother Reggie, it set off a firestorm. Reggie expressed that the team needed to get better players at the trade deadline to surround&nbsp;Derrick and added it may impact&nbsp;his brother&#39;s return the Bulls. Players may feel a bit deflated hearing those comments.</p><p>Derrick released a very short, supportive press release about the Bulls organization. But the players have to be wondering if there are any smoldering negative feelings being directed to them by the older brother&#39;s words.</p><p>Since the stinging remarks, this Bulls team has struggled and at times they look lethargic. It was great to see Joakim Noah produce big numbers against the 76ers (23 points, 21 rebounds, 11 blocked shots) last night, but&nbsp;they were a Sixer team that has been very disappointing this year.&nbsp;&nbsp;Some of the Bulls troubles can be attributed to the injuries and the lack of bench depth, but still when you see a loss of energy, it&nbsp;makes you wonder about the mental fatigue that seems to be setting in with eight weeks left to the season.</p><p>Now is a big test to see if head coach Tom Thibodeau can cajole and inspire to keep the team on track. The past two years, he had the Bulls steamrolling to the season&rsquo;s finish line. One of the most obvious reasons was Derrick Rose, but last year Rose was in and out of the line-up due to various ailments. The bench was more galvanized and was stronger in their roles than the present one. Every player on the bench followed their assignments for their designated roles and this year it worked for a while, but some factors are making this a huge challenge.</p><p>The lack of depth with big men is starting to hurt the Bulls, now that Taj Gibson is out with a sprained knee. The Bulls forward will be lost for at least a few weeks, unless there are more issues with his injury. With Gibson out, a problem has developed in the rotation of the team&#39;s big men. When Thibodeau looks down and sees he has Nazr Mohammed and Vladimir Radmanovic to spell Joakim Noah&nbsp;and Carlos Boozer, he knows this team has a problem. Mohammed is at the end of his career and has not been much help and Radmanovic has only been used in &ldquo;mop-up&rdquo; situations. With Richard Hamilton getting sidelined with back spasms last night, seldom-used Daequan&nbsp;Cook made an appearance.&nbsp;The other big issue has been Kirk Hindrich, when he starts there seems to be calmness and a sense of direction with his job at point guard. He has missed so many games and his recent elbow trouble has impacted the cohesiveness of the starting unit. Both Nate Robinson and rookie Marquis Teague deficiencies are exposed when they play accumulative minutes. &nbsp;Hindrich was signed to keep the team going until Derrick Rose comes back and then he will lead the bench or play some two-guard with Rose.</p><p>This has to be a learning experience for Thibodeau. How much should he push? How demanding should he be at this point?&nbsp; He was able to get the most out of the team yesterday with four starters scoring in double digits (basically using just seven players).&nbsp;The Bulls need to figure out if they have enough to hang in there or will stagger down the stretch. If it is mental or physical, whatever may impede them from succeeding, the Bulls must figure it out with or without Derrick Rose</p><p>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">@CRayeStout</a> and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame</a></p></p> Fri, 01 Mar 2013 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-02/bulls-recent-slump-mental-or-physical-105798 How coaching styles change the game in the NBA http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-12/how-coaching-styles-change-game-nba-86382 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-May/2011-05-11/Jackson Getty Ronald Martinez.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Former Bulls coach Phil Jackson is far from bankrupt. But some think he did get robbed of one final championship season. Getting swept by the Dallas Mavericks is probably not the way Jackson wanted to go out.<br> <br> <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> decided to take a page from Phil and get zen – by reflecting on the different styles of coaching in Chicago and around the NBA. After all, it is thanks to Coach Tom Thibodeau that the Bulls are going strong.<br> <br> <a href="http://lakernoise.com/" target="_blank">Roland Lazenby</a> knows all about coaching, zen style or otherwise. He profiled Jackson in his book <em>Mindgames: Phil Jackson’s Long Strange Journey</em>. His most recent book is <em>Jerry West: The Life and Legend of a Basketball Icon.</em> He spoke to Alison Cuddy about the effect of coaching styles.</p><p><em>Music Button: Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra, "Flight of the Bumblebee", from the CD Hooked Up Classics, (Ubiquity)</em></p></p> Thu, 12 May 2011 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-12/how-coaching-styles-change-game-nba-86382