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|(4-1)||-- vs. --||(2-2)|
Tom Thibodeau made quite an impact in his time as associate head coach of the Boston Celtics, forging a close relationship with Kevin Garnett along the way. It's why he landed his first head coaching job with the Chicago Bulls.
Thibodeau returns to Boston to face his former team for the first time when the Bulls and Celtics renew a rivalry that blossomed in the 2009 playoffs.
In Thibodeau's three seasons working under coach Doc Rivers, Boston (4-1) twice led the league in field-goal percentage defense and went to the NBA finals twice. Thibodeau earned a reputation as one of the top defensive coaches, and was hired by the Bulls (2-2) in the offseason as their 18th coach.
Garnett earned his lone defensive player of the year award in 2007-08 as Boston won its record 17th championship.
"Thibs brings a passion for defense, I think," Garnett said. "When you think of Tom Thibodeau and what's his strengths, he's obviously a defense guy. He watches an uncountable amount of film. He's a worker. He's a guy that loves his job. He does it with passion."