Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Adam Silver Bans Clippers Owner, Donald Sterling from NBA for Life

NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver has banned Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling for life from all NBA activities on top of a $2.5 million dollar fine and will seek to force him to sell his team. 
"We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling's views." Silver said. "They have no place in the NBA." After hearing the tape, Silver commented that he has known Sterling for many years and has suspected that the voice on the recorder was in fact, his. Most players as well as fans are very satisfied with the ruling from the most powerful man in the league. 
Former NBA player and Los Angeles mayor, Kevin Johnson, stated that the scandal was "bigger than basketball." This has to deal with race and racial superiority. 
Not only that, but the NBA will also seek to grant Clippers players free agency after the season is over. 
Magic Johnson and his business partners have also thrown their names in the ring to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers. 
This is the right thing for Silver to do for himself and the NBA as well as its fans. Racism has no place in the world today. 
As the Clippers Twitter account says, "WE ARE ALL ONE!"


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Memphis Grizzlies: Western Conference Dark Horse

The NBA Playoffs is a place where legends are born, dreams are made and icons are immortalized. It's a place that a team longs to get to after a long and grueling 82 games. A place that only 16 teams, eight in each conference can make a trip to. Emotions run high. Expectations are through the roof no matter which team you represent. In the midst of all this, there can only be one winner. One NBA Champion. One that is worthy of holding the Larry O'Brien trophy in triumph. You have teams that are expected to be NBA Champions. Then you have teams who are not expected to go any further than the first round...a dark horse.

In the Eastern Conference, I have already determined that the dark horse is definitely Tom Thibodeau's Chicago Bulls. After careful and much consideration, I have come to the conclusion that the Memphis Grizzlies are indeed without a doubt, the dark horse of the Western Conference.

The Memphis Grizzlies are 50-32 heading into the playoffs on Saturday night at 9:30 at the Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City to face the Thunder. The team has been through a lot this season and has made the bold statement that they are not going anywhere. February Western Conference Coach of the Month, David Joerger in his first year with the underrated Memphis Grizzlies has made much improvement with this team. Although the seventh seed in the Western Conference, Memphis has shown itself as a threat to the West in this year's NBA Playoffs. They are third in the league in points allowed with an average of 94.6 ppg, they are 14th in assists per game with an average of 21.9 apg.

Currently, the Grizzlies rank 6th in the NBA in power rankings. The Grizzlies made it known that they actually <em>wanted </em>San Antonio and the eighth seed. No matter how exciting that would be for the team, the Dallas Mavericks will end up getting what Memphis deserves.

Grizzlies power forward, Zac Randolph no doubt is the leader of the team. Not only is he the leader of the team, but he actually has help in Marc Gasol, Tony Allen, and Mike Conley. Randolph is leading the team in points and rebounds while Gasol is leading in blocks, Allen with steals, and Conley with assits. Despite their much earned success in the extremely competitive Western Conference, they are barely recognized and not really discussed much on major stations like ESPN. Since Marc Gasol returned in January, his rim protection has made the Memphis Grizzlies number one with a D-Rating of 97.7. Definitely bad news if you're the Oklahoma City Thunder.

This post season, the Grizzlies are there to make a name for themselves and silence the naysayers. They are looking to take over the West and smite each team that comes in their way of winning the NBA Finals. Their performance on the court is electrifying and you cant help but to get goosebumps watching them play at the FedEx Forum in Memphis. If the NBA Finals are not reach, you can rest assure that the Grizzlies are going to at least make the Western Conference Finals. This team viciously clawed their way to the seventh seed, disappointing Jeff Hornacek and company while battling for the eighth and final seed in the West.

Let us not forget their perimeter shooting which is above and beyond expectations. This is a team that knocked off the Thunder last year in the 2013 Western Conference Semi Finals.

David Joerger is an amazing coach and he is definitely benefiting from the performance of the players adapting into his style of play. Look for this team to shock and rock the NBA world to its core this postseason.

Remember, this is the NBA Playoffs...Where Anything Can Happen!

Cleveland Sports Talk Writer &amp; Site Manager,

Briyant Hines


Monday, April 14, 2014

The Dark Horse of the Eastern Conference

The NBA Playoffs was built off one thing: Survival of the Fittest. 16 teams. 2 Conference Champions. 1 NBA Champion.

From the beginning of the season. the low and subpar Eastern Conference has dealt with criticism from all over the NBA world. Teams that had playoff spots besides the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers were at least two to three games below .500 or a game or two over .500. This conference struggled and almost any and everybody in it was eligible for a playoff run all year long, even with a losing record. Now, that is not the case. I find it amusing how time can turn things around for most teams in the Eastern Conference. Seeds one through seven are over .500 and in great position for the NBA playoffs. The only team that will not have a winning record going into the 2014 NBA playoffs in this conference is of course the number eight seed, Atlanta Hawks who have proven themselves worthy of postseason play despite their inconsistent performance.

Whether you are in the NHL, NBA, NFL, MLS, or MLB, the postseason is where dreams are made, icons are born, and teams rise to the occasion. In every professional sport's postseason, you have a David in the company of many Goliaths, an unworthy team in the midst of teams with endless accolades, an underdog, a long shot, <em>a dark horse. </em>That dark horse in the Eastern Conference undoubtedly is none other than the Chicago Bulls.

The Chicago Bulls (47-33)  who are currently tied with Dwane Casey's Toronto Raptors (47-33) for the number three seed,  has had a season of high expectations, doubt, worry, and transition as well as triumph. The doubt and worry was evident when the much anticipated return of their point guard franchise player, Derrick Rose was cut short as he was injured again. For many Bulls fans, this was an ongoing nightmare never seeming to come to an end as the 25 year old was out for the season. The Bulls were suffering, and by the eighth week of the season, they were 10-16 and looking for some sort of light at the end of this never ending dark tunnel. After the injury of Rose, and losing him for the season, it was up to D.J. Augustin to stand in the gap for the struggling Bulls team who has in my opinion does a great job but is under so much pressure to fill the shoes of Rose.

By week 13 in the 2013-14 season, the Bulls started to make a statement and were 7-2 since the beginning of the new year. They were 19-20. Everybody in Chicago was saddened to see Luol Deng being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Joakim Noah expressed his disappointment in losing part of Chicago's stellar defense. At that time, the Bulls were one and two games over or under .500 and were really not as consistent as head coach, Tom Thibodeau would have liked them to be. The former Boston Celtics assistant had to find a way to get his team to win despite losing Deng in a trade and through Rose's torn meniscus, and with precious time, he did just that. If anyone remembers, this team was 9-16 in December 19, and became 24-10 since then. One word: PROGRESS!

<a href="http://www.cstsports.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/NbaP2.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-47 aligncenter" alt="NbaP2" src="http://www.cstsports.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/NbaP2.jpg" width="269" height="187" /></a>

It was clear that by that time, the Chicago Bulls were probably the best team in the Eastern Conference besides the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers. Thibodeau's name was considered for NBA Coach of the Year along with the Phoenix Suns first year coach, Jeff Hornacek. The Bulls defense was astounding and on average held their opponents to 90 points or less. Joakim Noah was also considered an MVP candidate to the fans at the United Center and was constantly hearing MVP chants at the free throw line. He made it clear that the team was waiting on their MVP Derrick Rose to come back. How humble.

The team had become 24-17 since trading Deng.

Currently, the Bulls have the number one defense in the NBA and are not necessarily the favorites to win the Eastern Conference crown. They are tenth in the league in assists and rebounds which can be contributed to the play of former Florida Gator, Joakim Noah. The Achilles heel for this team would have to be their struggling offense which is 30th in the league on average of 93 points per game. The Bulls are playoff ready defensively which can win them games when it really comes down to it. To take charge and really annihilate the low Leastern Conference (yes, Leastern.), they are really going to have to step it up offensively. Taj Gibson, D.J. Augustin definitely need to step up! Noah cannot do everything for this team. Despite these offensive struggles, I know without a doubt that Thibs is up to something and the Bulls will be better offensively in the playoffs.

Thibs will create a system with a killer instinct and the defense will be more dominant than it was in the regular season. My dark horse, the Chicago Bulls will surprise a hell of a lot of people and will defeat the likes of Miami or Indiana.

Bet on it.

Cleveland Sports Talk Writer &amp; Site Manager,

Briyant Hines



Sunday, April 13, 2014

NCAA: Modern Day Slavery

Reported in the year of 2012, the NCAA who was started by former president Teddy Roosevelt in 1906, has recorded an annual revenue of nearly a billion dollars ($871.6 million dollars.) The revenue is generated from TV, marketing rights fees, championship revenues and other services according to ESPN.com. About $30 million dollars is put towards staff salaries and "administrative assistance" which is about 4% of the annual budget. The other 96% is claimed to have gone back to the member schools in programs or direct payments. 60% of the 96% goes to the Division I members. But guess what? Not a penny of it goes to student athletes. Why? Well, for the simple fact that current NCAA president Mark Emmert believes that paying the student athletes a cheap stipend of $2,000 should be enough. This man is sadly mistaken.

Firstly, the $2,000 Student Athlete Stipend is given to the players for extra fees that their scholarship does not cover. The scholarship covers tuition, room, board, books and fees. The average student athlete scholarship is worth at least $23,000 according to Ramogi Huma who is the president of the Players Association. The stipend is for tuition only and is set to cover the remaining balance, if there is a remaining balance. Other than that, Emmert believes the idea of paying student athletes to play is "silly." “ It’s been called a $2,000 stipend, but it’s really just the full cost of attendance. It is not in any way paying players to play games. But it is covering the legitimate real cost of being a student athlete. We want to do that, and we have the flexibility to make that decision,” he said. Plainly speaking, the stipend is meant to cover miscellaneous expenses, not talent.

In October of 2011, the NCAA board passed legislation to give some athletes an additional $2,000 towards their tuition that would surpass tuition, room and board as well as books and other fees. Emmert constantly states that the stipend which was temporarily placed on hold in December of 2011 would not be "pay-for play" money.

As a result of this "stipend" which in my opinion is a rip off, the student athletes are seeking to unionize and stand up against the "NCAA cartel." Former NCAA player, Ed O'Bannon filed a suit against the NCAA in 2009 after he saw an avatar of himself on a NCAA College Basketball game. O'Bannon strongly believed that it was wrong for the NCAA to license and sell his image without paying him. Of course, the NCAA believes that they actually own the rights to all of their players and can sell merchandise or anything with their name to the general public or a business, therefore, they believe that players are not subject to be paid any proceeds.

In 2013, Jay Bilas claimed that the NCAA was taking advantage of its student athletes when they began to sale their jerseys at stores and online. After hearing this, the NCAA pulled the jerseys from shelves. It is no secret that the NCAA is making a substantial amount of money off of its players whether its featuring them in the latest edition of Sports Illustrated such as Creighton's Doug McDermott, video games, commercials promoting March Madness, etcetera. The NCAA has a bad reputation for how it treats is players and has caused national attention even on adult cartoons such as South Park in which they renamed the NCAA, the CBAA which stood for "Crack Babies Athletic Association." This has to be embarrassing.

To increase the stipend or give players money, Emmert has made it clear that it is not going to happen under his watch. He has also made it clear that paying the student athletes would change the relationship between the student athletes and the NCAA. Understood. However, my question is, in what way will paying them effect the relationship? Exactly. Basically, the man who had made $1,674,095.00 on his tax return is saying that he does not feel the players will be dedicated if they are paid for play. Giving the student athletes scholarships and paying them for their performance on the court "utterly makes no sense" to the 51 year old Washington state native. The NCAA does not complain about how they spent $20.1 million dollars in legal fees in 2011-12 which was their highest since 2006-07.

Former NCAA president, Walter Byers stated in his book, "Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Exploiting College Athletes" that college game earnings go to overseers and administrators whom he described as overseers and supervisors, and also called student athletes, plantation workers (slaves).

One can easily look at the NCAA as a slaver and its student athletes as slaves. The relationship is horrible between the two. The student athletes are not being treated how they need to be treated. Why should student athletes go hungry at night because they have no money while the coaches, administrators, college presidents, athletic directors, etcetera have eaten a T-Bone steak for dinner. Why should they have to beg for money from their parents when they are one of the top scorers in the NCAA? Why must they become malnourished while the NCAA big wigs are becoming fat with money and success.

The problem is not with the NCAA not having enough money, the problem is them not wanting to lose the money they successfully make by paying its student athletes. The lowest an NCAA coach makes is at least a million dollars. In the year of 2012, the NCAA had made about a billion dollars in tv ad earnings promoting March Madness. That year, they earned more than the NFL playoffs that made $971 million dollars. Tickets and sponsors make close to at least $40 million dollars in revenue during March Madness. On April 22, 2010, the NCAA signed a 10.8 billion dollar agreement with CBS which made it its exclusive March Madness outlet. The agreement is for 14 years and the NCAA is expected to make at least over $700 million dollars annually from March Madness.

What should the student athletes do to get a piece of the pie? How about a union? Well, Mark Emmert is dead set against it. He agrees that the NCAA should change, but a union is not the answer in his opinion. He calls the idea a "grossly inappropriate solution." "It would blow up everything about the collegiate model of athletics," he said, "no one up here believes the way you fix that is by converting student-athletes into unionized employees."

Maybe the slaver, NCAA should rid themselves of their prideful arrogance and finally pay their student athletes. Emmert needs to stop being so arrogant and pay the student athletes a fair amount and not a stipend. Give them at least $500/week or month. They are not property and you do not own them. Up until 1972, the NCAA gave student athletes monthly allowance for laundry money. I guess that was too much because that stopped as well.

I support Jeffrey Kessler and his antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA. It's only appropriate and only right.

The NCAA and its president should be ashamed of themselves for the exploitation of its student athletes.

Cleveland Sports Talk National Writer &amp; Site Manager,

Briyant Hines



Friday, April 11, 2014

Ready Or Not: Indiana Pacers

Make no mistake about it, the Indiana Pacers has a roster full of talent, however, the way that they have been playing is certainly does not seem like it. 54-25, the Indiana Pacers who seemed to have the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference locked up at the beginning of the season are a stunning and disappointing 3-7 in their last ten games. Despite having the #2 defense in the league behind the Chicago Bulls (90.2) with points allowed (92.3) , the Indiana Pacers just cannot seem to get in a groove here. They were pounded on by the #8 seed Atlanta Hawks in Indiana 107-88. Now, what if that were a playoff game? In that game, I believe everybody saw the lack of ambition and drive in the subpar Eastern Conference’s #1 seed. There seems to be no confidence in this team nor a desire to win. Like everybody else in the NBA world, the Pacers performance in the last ten games make you question if they are ready or not to compete in the NBA Playoffs.

Paul George has not been performing the way that he normally is and it is definitely wearing on the Indiana Pacers fans. An example of this would have to be a Pacers fan searching for Paul George’s “Missing Talent.” It goes on to read, “The talent for short-lived NBA superstar Paul George has gone missing. We’re desperate to reunite the body back with the talent before the NBA playoffs start in a few weeks. We’ve checked everywhere. Strip clubs. Sex shops. Moron Mountain. Tune land. No luck so far…”  According to espn.com, the Palmdale, California native has averaged 21.7 ppg, 3.5 apg, and 6.7 rebounds.His performance has been gradually declining since the beginning of the year. As each month passes, he scores less than his average and now, he is down to 18 ppg which needless to say isn’t his usual. In the month of March he has averaged only 18 ppg, .372 from the field, and .297 from 3 point range. His numbers now are not identical to his performance in January according to BleacherReport,com. His numbers have been plummeting since December, and now, he is in desperate need to make a statement tonight against the Miami Heat in Indiana. To make sense of the slumping situation, George told USA Today’s Zak Keefer, “Teams were figuring out how to slow me down. I’m just trying to learn you can’t beat a whole team, and that’s what I was going through.” Is George blaming his teammates for his plummeting numbers? Maybe he is, considering the fact that the Pacers have no kind of offense. Okay, granted. However…how do you explain his poor defensive play as of lately?

Bleacher Report.com gave out a poll with this question: Why is George struggling much? 63.7% of the fans believe that he is struggling with off court distractions, fatigue, and teams guarding him better. I guess that just about sums it up. I personally can agree to all three, especially the fatigue part. Averaging 36.2 minutes per night can wear anybody down…and age does not play a factor in this. Paul George is not the sole reason for the Pacers problems.

Let us not lose sight of what this article is really about, the Indiana Pacers.

The Eastern Conference crown seems up for grabs at this moment. The Pacers along with the Miami Heat have been struggling and under-performing. On the same night that the Miami Heat traveled to Memphis to play and lose against the Grizzlies, Pacers coach Frank Vogel decided to rest all five of his starters against the Milwaukee Bucks. That was a terrible idea. Whether it was against the low Bucks or not, I do not understand why a coach would rest his starters when they are performing below average. Needless to say, the bench won the game by 2 points. The team as a whole is not doing well as most people know. They are struggling offensively and defensively and lack the drive or desire to win. You can even see their dispositions on the sideline. Its just not looking good for this basketball club.

With the NBA playoffs coming up. it is not known whether the Indiana Pacers will keep the #1 seed or lose it to the Miami Heat and becoming the #2 seed. Both teams are in jeopardy of being ousted in the first round. It is my opinion that neither team will be ready to go to the Eastern Conference Finals, let alone the NBA Finals. I for one will not be surprised because there is not motivation. It is also no secret that LeBron James is frustrated with Dwayne Wade missing games including this one amongst other things. It is no secret that the Pacers are frustrated with their failing offense.

Tonight, the Indiana Pacers travel to Miami at American Airlines Arena at 7:30 pm to battle it out for the #1 seed and a chance to have home court advantage throughout the playoffs. The only time these two teams will meet again is if they both make it to the NBA Eastern Conference Finals which in my opinion, will not happen.

Cleveland Sports Talk-National Writer & Site Manager,
Briyant Hines

- See more at: http://www.cstsports.net/nba/is-indiana-ready-or-not/#sthash.pSUVJYgL.dpuf

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

NFL Releases Pre Season Schedule

Alright football fans, we are getting closer and closer to the most popular sports season of all time..FOOTBALL SEASON! Today, the NFL released the 2014 NFL Pre Season Schedule set to begin on August 3rd, 2014 in Canton, Ohio at the NFL Hall of Fame Game in which the New York Giants will face the Buffalo Bills at 8 pm on NBC.
The schedule is as follows:

Week One: August 7th-10th:
Buffalo Bills @ Carolina Panthers
Cincinnati Bengals @Kansas City Chiefs
Cleveland Browns @ Detroit Lions
Dallas Cowboys @ San Diego Chargers
Green Bay Packers @ Tennessee Titans
Houston Texans @ Arizona Cardinals
Indianapolis Colts @ New York Jets
Miami Dolphins @ Atlanta Falcons
New England Patriots @ Washington Redskins
New Orleans Saints @ St Louis Rams
Oakland Raiders @ Minnesota Vikings
Philadelphia Eagles @ Chicago Bears
Pittsburgh Steelers @ New York Giants
San Francisco 49ers @Baltimore Ravens
Seattle Seahawks @ Denver Broncos
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Week Two: August 14-18th
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Chicago Bears
Kansas City Chiefs @ Carolina Panthers
Cleveland Browns @ Washington Redskins
Arizona Cardinals @ Minnesota Vikings
Atlanta Falcons @ Houston Texans
Baltimore Ravens @ Dallas Cowboys
Buffalo Bills @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Denver Broncos @ San Francisco 49ers
Detroit Lions @ Oakland Raiders
Green Bay Packers @ St Louis Rams
Miami Dolphins @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New York Giants @ Indianapolis Colts
New York Jets @ Cincinnati Bengals
Philadelphia Eagles @ New England Patriots
San Diego Chargers @ Seattle Seahawks
Tennessee Titans @ New Orleans Saints

Week Three: August 21-24
Oakland Raiders @ Green Bay Packers
New Orleans Saints @ Indianapolis Colts
San Diego Chargers @ San Francisco 49ers
Cincinnati Bengals @ Arizona Cardinals
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Philadelphia Eagles
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Detroit Lions
Tennessee Titans @ Atlanta Falcons
Chicago Bears @ Seattle Seahawks
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Buffalo Bills
Dallas Cowboys @ Miami Dolphins
Carolina Panthers @ New England Patriots
New York Giants @ New York Jets
Washington Redskins @ Baltimore Ravens
St Louis Rams @ Cleveland Browns
Houston Texans @ Denver Broncos
Minnesota Vikings @ Kansas City Chiefs

Week Four. August 28th, 2014
Arizona Cardinals @ San Diego Chargers
Atlanta Falcons @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Baltimore Ravens @ New Orleans Saints
Carolina Panthers @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Chicago Bears @ Cleveland Browns
Denver Broncos @ Dallas Cowboys
Detroit Lions @ Buffalo Bills
Indianapolis Colts @ Cincinnati Bengals
Kansas City Chiefs @ Green Bay Packers
Minnesota Vikings @ Tennessee Titans
New England Patriots @ New York Giants
New York Jets @ Philadelphia Eagles
San Francisco 49ers @ Houston Texans
Seattle Seahawks @ Oakland Raiders
St Louis Rams @ Miami Dolphins
Washington Redskins @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Cleveland Sports Talk National Writer, Site Manager
Briyant Hines

- See more at: http://www.cstsports.net/uncategorized/nfl-releases-2014-pre-season-schedule/#sthash.aWM6rcE0.dpuf

Coach of the Year, Tom Thibodeau?

Coming off of his 200th career win in four years against the Atlanta Hawks a few nights ago, Chicago Bulls head coach, Tom Thibodeau is headed for greatness, and the majority of the NBA world doesn't know it as he is one of the most underrated coaches in the league today. Named the 18th Chicago Bulls head coach in franchise history on June 23, 2010, the Connecticut native has done nothing but steer this franchise into the right direction. In his first season with the Bulls after the termination of Vinny Del Negro, Thibodeau led the Bulls to a 62 win season along with an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals which was their first since the 1997-98 season. Not only did he exceed above and beyond expectations, but he broke the legendary Zen Master, Phil Jackson's record for 55 wins in the first year as head coach with the Chicago Bulls. He joins the likes of Bill Russell and Paul Westphal as one of only three coaches who have won 60 or more games in their first year as head coach. Thibodeau has a very long list of accolades such as being named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month three times in the 2010-11 season and also winning Coach of the Year. Keep in mind that all of these accolades were accomplished within his first year!
Including his current stint with the Bulls, Thibodeau has advanced to the postseason a total of 15 times  and looks as though he will add one more to that total at the close of the 2013-14 season. Three of those times, he appeared in the NBA Finals as an assistant and head coach (1999. 2008, 2010). Not only does he know how to win, but he is a defensive guru and has proven that defense wins games. While under former Boston Celtics, and current Los Angeles Clippers coach, Doc Rivers he oversaw and implemented defensive principles that gave Boston their stellar defense which only allowed an average of 90 ppg. Not only that, but he held the Celtics opponents to a FG percentage of .419 which was a turnaround from the previous year where opponents had a .468 FG percentage. 17 times in his illustrious career has he helped teams become one of the Top 10 defenses in the NBA.
Successful fortification is definitely key for the 53 year old's much earned success  in Chicago. This season, the Bulls have had the #1 ranked defense in the NBA allowing only 91.6 ppg, and #9 in rebounds averaging 44.4 rpg. Losing Small Forward, Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers worried some fans, but there was one guy who put all fear and anxiety away. Bulls Center, Joakim Noah definitely has made his presence known defensively, leading the 45-32 team in assists, rebounds and blocks. Shooting guard, Jimmy Butler leads the team in steals. Most believe that Noah is the Chicago Bulls defense.
Offense is not really Thibodeau's strong suit this season as the Chicago Bulls have struggled offensively and currently have the #30th ranked offense in the league averaging 93.4 ppg. This is where Derrick Rose is supposed to come in and help save the day, but unfortunately he cannot do that due to his injury early this season. D.J. Augustin is no Derrick Rose, but he definitely gets the job done. In his last five games, Augustin has struggled from 3 point range, but has managed to average at least 20 points. His production is not consistent, but his minutes are. There is no secret that Thibodeau needs help with his struggling offense. Despite having a troubling offense, the Bulls rank 11th in the league with assists averaging 22.5 assists per game.
Notwithstanding losing two prominent and key players in Luol Deng and Derrick Rose, Tom Thibodeau has found ways to win. He knows how to effectively strategize and come up with a gameplan. The Chicago Bulls team thrive off of the talents of their coach who is vital in moving them forward and turning them into NBA champions. Chicago remains competitive because of this man's grand philosophy on overall and defensive structure. ESPN's Beckley Mason stated in January that Thibodeau "... is often credited with being the first coach to fully leverage the abolition of illegal defense by loading up the strong side box while having the weakside defenders zone the back side of the defense. In effect, Thibodeau's defenses force ball handlers -- whether in isolation or in side pick-and-rolls -- to the baseline and then send a second defender from the weakside over to the strong side block to cut off dribble penetration."  That spells out defensive genius!
The Chicago Bulls have won five in a row and are 8-2 in their last ten games. They currently hold the third seed in the subpar Eastern Conference. It is my belief that Tom Thibodeau should win the 2014 NBA Coach of the Year Award for the simple fact that this man is a proven leader and has one of the most elite and defenses in the NBA. He is dangerously overlooked and as I had stated previously overrated when you throw his name in the mix of candidates along with San Antonio Spurs' Gregg Popovich, Miami Heat's Erik Spoelstra, Dallas Mavericks Rick Carlisle, Toronto Raptors Dwane Casey, Portland Trail Blazers Terry Stotts, Indiana Pacers Frank Vogel,  Los Angeles Clippers Doc Rivers, and Golden State Warriors Mark Jackson and even Phoenix Suns Jeff Hornacek, just to name a few.
The NBA Coach of the Year Award belongs to a coach that has turned their team around and made them a lot better than they were in the previous year. The NBA focuses more on popularity than they do statistics which is why in my belief that Gregg Popovich will probably win this year's award. My favorite, of course would be Tom Thibodeau because he actually deserves it; and if not Thibodeau, Dwane Casey, Jeff Hornacek, should definitely be the recipient of the 2013-14 NBA Coach of the Year Award.
Briyant Hines
Cleveland Sports Talk National Writer & Site Manager