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Layups: The Defensive Impact of Thibodeau-to-Chicago

Posted by Neil Paine on November 11, 2010

When Tom Thibodeau left his job as Doc Rivers' defensive guru in Boston, many speculated that Chicago would become dominant defensively and the Celtics would lose some of their defensive luster.

We're few weeks into the season, though, and as CelticsBlog's Jack Jemsek notes, Boston's D isn't really any worse for ware while the Bulls haven't improved very much at that end. What gives, Thibs?

4 Responses to “Layups: The Defensive Impact of Thibodeau-to-Chicago”

  1. Jerry Says:

    Was it really necessary to post that as a blog post? after 8 or so games...?
    I'm guessing that a team that had a good defensive coach for years just doesn't instantly fade in their defensive ability once he leaves

  2. Jason J Says:

    Defensive principals, focus, and effort seem to stick around sometimes when a coach leaves. Houston comes to mind as a team that dropped off very little when Van Gundy left and Addleman took over (though come to think of it, Thibs was the lead assistant of JVG, and I think he was retained by Addleman).

  3. Scotter Says:

    The reason the defense isn't excelling yet is fairly obvious from both watching them and the defensive four factors. They're second to last in defensive free throw rate. Thibodeau's defense is foul prone and he has to rely on a number of foul prone players right now. There's Gibson, Asik who's a foul machine as a rookie, Scalabrine has had to play and he kept stop himself from fouling, and James Johnson who fouls as often as any wing player in NBA history has had to play as well.

    They're the #2 defensive rebounding team in the league, and that will only get stronger when Boozer returns even if he isn't great in other areas. They're in the top half of the league in eFG% defense and average in turnovers forced. As they get better with the defense rotations and get some guys back to cheer leading on the bench the foul rate will decline some and the defense will improve.

  4. ManchvegasBob Says:

    Jerry - I know it was early and I said as much in the article several times . . . but the discussion has been around in Boston since Thibs signed with Chicago - are they going to miss him? But more than his impact on the team, there was a major hat tip to the defensive superiority of the Celtics during Thibs tenure. That recognition was in fact long over due for the Celtics team from 2007 to present, and Thibs was a big part of it.