I don't like dwelling on the past, but the people that know me have known I have always had a softspot for the Minnesota Timberwolves. So I was exciting when they hired Thibs, and thought he would do there. I admit to watching their games and enjoying them, too. But this article probably neating summarizes the qualms many people have had with Thibodeau as a head coach for the Chicago Bulls, too.
The holy shit statistic to me was this one highlighted in the article:
According to the NBA’s stats site, Minnesota’s starting five—Jeff Teague, Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins, Taj Gibson, Karl-Anthony Towns—is the NBA’s most used five-man lineup, by miles. Through 28 games, that lineup has logged 167 more minutes—nearly three and a half more games—than any other lineup.
To me, I think this is the curse and wisdom of Tom Thibodeau. He wants to win every game and feels each game in December is as important to win as a playoff game in May. As a Bulls fan, this coaching style definitely ended up getting them the number one seed in the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons. It was a great run, but it was also short-sighted. Sure, injuries happen. But you can work to minimize them through a concerted effort to rest players throughout the season as all modern sports science tells teams to do, and teams are now doing.
Side note: I think this article was actually written by John Paxson and provided to Jerry and Michael Reinsdorf before Thibs was fired.