Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau wins 2010-11 NBA Coach of Year

The National Basketball Association today announced that Chicago Bulls Head Coach Tom Thibodeau has been named the 2010-11 NBA Coach of the Year.  Thibodeau is the fourth head coach in franchise history to win the award, joining Johnny Red Kerr (1967), Dick Motta (1971) and Phil Jackson (1996).

“This is a well deserved honor for Tom.  He is a terrific teacher, motivator, tactician and communicator.  His work ethic, passion for the game and for our players is appreciated,” said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman.  “We are thrilled that he is part of the Bulls organization and want to congratulate him on being named the NBA’s Coach of the Year.”

In his first season with the Bulls, and his first year as a head coach in the NBA, Thibodeau guided Chicago to the best record in the NBA with a mark of 62-20 (.756).  Chicago posted the top home record in the league (36-5), and recorded its first winning road record since 1998, as it went 26-15 away from the United Center.  Thibodeau’s 62 wins ties the NBA record for most wins by a first-year head coach in NBA history (Paul Westphal in 1993, Phoenix), and surpasses Phil Jackson’s team record for most wins by a Bulls first-year head coach (55 victories in 1991).

Chicago’s 62 wins ranks fourth in team annals for wins in a season, and it marks a 21-game improvement from the team’s 41-41 campaign in 2009-10 (the third-best single-season turnaround in franchise history).  On the year, the Bulls went 16-4 (.800) following a loss, and were one of two teams in the NBA (Boston Celtics) that did not lose more than two games in a row.

The Bulls also recorded the best record in the NBA after the All-Star break with a mark of 24-4 (.857), highlighted by a record of 21-2 to close out the regular season.  On the season, the Bulls ranked first in opponent field goal percentage (.430), first in opponent three-point field goal percentage (.326), first in opponent rebounds per game (38.4), first in rebound margin (plus-5.7), second in point differential (plus-7.3), second in opponent points per game (91.3), second in opponent assists per game (19.0), second in the NBA in rebounds per game (44.2) and fifth in blocks per game (5.71).

Selected by the NBA media, Thibodeau’s honor marks the seventh time in NBA history that a first-year head coach has been named NBA Coach of the Year: Harry Gallatin (St. Louis, 1963), Johnny Red Kerr (Chicago, 1967), Mike Schuler (Portland, 1987), Larry Bird (Indiana, 1998), Doc Rivers (Orlando, 2000) and Rick Carlisle (Detroit, 2002).

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