ORLANDO -- Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy has a lot respect for the success the Chicago Bulls have earned this season. Van Gundy believes Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau should win the coach of the year award and Gar Forman and John Paxson should be executives of the year.
"For some reason, there's this perception that Miami made all these changes and we made changes at mid-season, and Chicago's doing it with like the same group, they're not doing it with the same group at all," Van Gunday said prior to the Bulls-Magic game Sunday afternoon. "They've made a lot of changes, and I said the other day on the radio, I think John Paxson and Gar Forman should, they won't, [Heat President] Pat Riley will get executive of the year because they made the big splash, but in reality, those guys should win it.
"They made a lot changes; they were below Miami in the standings, now they're above Miami in the standings. How could you not go with those guys as your executives of the year, if you really do any work. First of all, their personnel is totally different, they're not the same team at all."
Van Gundy was effusive with his praise of Thibodeau as well.
"They've made some big changes and then Tom's done a great job. He's done a great job," Van Gundy said. "I don't think there's any doubt he should be the coach of the year. It's one of the best coaching jobs I've seen done since I've been in the league. They're really solid at both ends. They play hard and play every night. They've had no lulls throughout the year at all. They've just been outstanding. I think the main thing is their energy and their consistent intensity from night to night. They're the number one defensive team in the league and so part of that may be personnel, but I think a good part of that, if not even most of it, is what Tom's done."