Tom Thibodeau is not pleased at all with the minutes limit the Bulls front office has put on certain players. He made that clear following the Bulls Sunday loss to the Thunder. While addressing the media Thibodeau revealed that Joakim Noah was not used much down the stretch because he had reached his mandated 32 minutes per game. But if Coach Thibs is going to be upset with anybody, it should be himself.
The Bulls front office believes heavy minutes over Thibodeau’s tenure have worn players down both physically and mentally. Thibs is notorious for sitting young players for games at a time while the starters are left to carry the bulk of the burden. If Thibodeau had shown any inclination to ease a player back after injury or rest guys in garbage minutes then he likely wouldn’t be in this position.
Whether the Bulls front office is overstepping its grounds in this case is inconsequential. The rule is in place and Thibs has to abide by it. The more pertinent question is why Noah was at his minutes limit so soon that he was unusable by the end of the game. Thibs knows how many minutes Noah could play. Like it or not, that’s the situation. Why weren’t there available minutes down the stretch in a close game?
Thibodeau’s job is to manage his team and if he can’t adjust to what is being asked, then that is on him. It may not be fair or smart but that’s life working for someone else. We all have to face procedural changes at some time in our careers and if we can’t perform then it essentially falls on us.
The marriage between the Bulls front office and head coach feels like it’s coming to a close. It no longer matters who is right and who is wrong. Thibs still has a job to do and a responsibility to his players. It’s time for Thibs to adapt or die.