CHICAGO (WSCR) In his first year as an NBA head coach, Tom Thibodeau led the Chicago Bulls to a league-best 62 wins and the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

More impressively than that is the fact the Bulls have completely bought into Thibodeau’s system.

“They really do like him,” Sam Smith, of, said on the Mully and Hanley Show. “While he’ll yell at them and he’s about…’tomorrow’s practice is the most important practice of the season’…he’s done what players want, even though they’d never admit it, he’s helped them get better.

LISTEN: Sam Smith On The Mully And Hanley Show

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“When [players] find a coach that helps them get better, they pay attention. He’s helped them and he allows them to play the game. When he’s yelling at them, it’s not a personal kind of thing, he’s just talking about a mistake they’ve made or something.”

Thibodeau remains to be one of the front-runners for the NBA’ Coach of the Year award. His success has stemmed from the fact that his intensity and hyper-focused approach has pushed his players to take their game to another level.

“I think he’s motivated certain guys,” Smith said. “Especially [Luol] Deng.”

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