When Tom Thibodeau took on the Chicago Bulls in 2010, he inherited a budding superstar in Derrick Rose, who made the All-Star team in his second season and averaged 20.8 points and six assists per night with an efficient 48.9% from the field.
The following season, when Thibodeau started his coaching career in Chicago, Rose became one of the best players in the league and took home the MVP award at the age of 22, making him the youngest player ever to win the award.
While many may argue that Rose’s rise to MVP status was inevitable, it is ignorant to say that Thibodeau did not play a role in Rose’s jump in her third year.
Under the leadership of Tom Thibodeau, Rose became a much improved defender, contributing to his MVP candidacy. In her first two seasons in the league, Rose didn’t hurry in every game and was lazy when prowling the screens.
Tom Thibodeau’s defensive pattern, which relies heavily on the game of defense aid and the “ice” of pick and roll, played Rose’s strengths as an athlete. He bought Thibodeau’s defense and used his readiness to stand in front of his defender.
During Rose’s first two seasons in the league, his defensive score was 106.1 and his plus / minus defensive box was -1.5 and -0.9, respectively. In his first two seasons under Thibodeau, his defensive score was 99.8 and his plus / minus defensive box became positive at 0.5 and 0.3, respectively.
It is difficult to measure a player’s defense and these statistics may not tell the whole story, but it is worth a look. Rose’s significant leap in defensive efficiency can somehow be attributed to the emergence of the Bulls team’s defense, but there is no denying that Rose has improved as a defender under Thibodeau and his intricate defensive patterns.
Rose’s defense effort has increased significantly and her adaptation in Thibodeau’s defense has been seamless. Rose hasn’t played much defense in his career, but under Thibodeau, the effort was there, and the Bulls were always one of the best defenses in the league, with no weak points.