(CBS) After leading the Bulls to a 48-win season in the face of adversity, Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau took third in the NBA’s Coach of the Year voting.
The Spurs’ Gregg Popovich won the award for the third time with 380 total points and 59 of the possible 125 first-place votes. The Suns’ Jeff Hornacek was second with 339 points and 37 first-place votes, while Thibodeau had 159 points with 12 first-place votes.
The Spurs went an NBA-best 62-20. The Suns were 48-34 and just missed the playoffs by a game in a strong Western Conference.
Thibodeau held together a Bulls team that lost star point guard Derrick Rose to a knee injury in late November for the remainder of the year and stalwart Luol Deng in a trade to Cleveland in January. He did it largely by directing an elite defense that led the league in fewest points allowed per game and also by revamping the offense around Joakim Noah in the high post.
Thibodeau was the NBA’s Coach of the Year in 2010-’11.