The Bulls come to town tonight and with them comes old friend Head Coach Tom Thibodeau. But dont think this means the C's arent ready for him. They know that, despite Thibs "running of the Bulls", they have a foundation in place with players who are focused and ready to execute on both ends of the floor.
While Thibs was widely known as the C's D guy, Danny Ainge knows all too well he's more than that.
DA: “I’ll just say I think that Doc and Thibs together did a very good job defensively. And in the same way, I don’t think that Thibs is only a defensive coach. I think Thibs knows all aspects of the game, but defense was kind of his assignment with us. He has a good mind for the game in all areas.”
Thibs was contemplating a Head Coaching job at the end of the 2009 season, but opted to stay with the team for another go (link). One of the main concerns in Celtics Nation, at that time, was if he left would we be the same team defensively.
In just the few (5) games this season the C's have answered a definitive yes. Allowing just 92.8 points per on 42.3% shooting. Is Ainge concerned you might ask?
DA: "No. Because I think that Doc really knows our defense, and I think Lawrence Frank is a good coach, and I think our players know how important defense is to our winning. The whole key to our defense is how much of an effort night in and night out our players give it."
In his 3 years with the C's Thibs has help us to a title (2008), the EC semi's (2009), and last years Finals appearance (2010). Still, Team Green is excited to have him back even if he's on the bad guys side. Perkins had nothing but praise for Thibs and said this about his return,
KP: “He was greatly appreciated while he was here for all the things he did, the time he put in, the knowledge he had of the game. I thought him getting that job was well deserved. I wish him the best."
In any event, Ainge has faith that the combo of Doc and Lawrence Frank is just as good and should allow Boston to be as successful in this seasons campaign. Doc, Ainge and even Perk have said that they have the utmost respect for Coach Thibs, but it will be up to the players to play accordingly in order to pull out a W.
On another note, Doc jokingly expressed concern that Thibs may know too much.
Doc on Thibs: “He’s written down every ATO (after timeout play) that I’ve ever run. We’ve run literally a hundred ATOs that nobody’s ever seen because we run them every day in practice. And he was writing them all down. I used to kid him and say that some day that’s going to come back and haunt me. We talk a lot. I think I talk to him more now than when he was with us. It feels like it at times. I’m just real happy for him. He’s doing a sensational job."