After lifting the Philadelphia 76ers to a 41-41 season, which is 14 games better than 2009-10, former Chicago Bulls coach, Doug Collins, brought his name into discussion for the NBA’s coach of the year. Unfortunately, Tom Thibodeau, current coach of the Bulls, one-upped him.
As seen here on Yard Barker, Collins received the non-victorious accolade of finishing runner up for the award. Based on his glass-is-always-half-full attitude, I’m sure he won’t lose sleep over barely missing out.
Arguments can be made that Thibodeau may not have deserved the award, mostly because of the roster’s dramatic improvement, in comparison to Philadelphia’s roster; that made very few changes.
The Bulls’ improvement, overall, was an improvement of talent, as opposed to the Sixers’ improvement in mentality and X’s and O’s; but this article isn’t meant to take anything away from Thibodeau or the NBA’s decision. He had an excellent year, but having the league MVP (Derrick Rose) helps a little bit.
In the grand scheme of things, the Chicago Bulls showed more improvement than the 76ers and they finished first in the Eastern Conference. Last year, they finished with the same record as Philadelphia did this season, at 41-41. This season, they won 62 games (21 more than last year).
There’s always next year for Collins to win an award. Hopefully it is hardware for the team, rather than an individual. Based on the rate of his team’s improvement, the Sixers are on pace for a 55-win season (not a reliable prediction, but it’s interesting to think about).
If that does turn out to be true, then maybe Philadelphia will be a few more steps closer to becoming a basketball town again.