Sixers Notes: Sixers, Bulls happy for COY Popovich

Sixers Notes: Sixers, Bulls happy for COY Popovich
May 2, 2012, 12:07 am
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CHICAGO The NBAs postseason awards are beginning to roll out with the announcement of the Coach of the Year Award, Tuesday.
And the winner is
Greg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs.
Popovich won the award for the second time by guiding the Spurs to a 50-16 record to capture the top seed in the tough Western Conference. He received 77 first-place votes from a selected group of writers and broadcasters to easily beat out the Bulls Tom Thibodeau, who had 53 first-place votes.
Rounding out the voting was the Pacers' Frank Vogel, the Grizzlies' Lionel Hollins and the Celtics' Doc Rivers.
Thibodeau, who won the award last year, had nothing but praise for Popovich, who with 16 years in as the Spurs coach is the longest-tenured coach with the same team among the 122 NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB professional franchises.
You can make a case for Pop every year, Thibodeau said.
One of the most popular guys in the coaching fraternity, Popovich won the award the first time in 2002-03 and has captured four NBA championships with the Spurs. Seemingly every coach in the league calls him a close friend. The men on the sidelines for Game 2 of Sixers-Bulls series at United Center are no different.
I had an opportunity to meet him 20 years ago and hes the same guy now as he was then, Thibodeau said. Even with the success and the the championships, hes always had a great humility.
As for finishing second in a season where the Bulls won 50 games while playing without reigning MVP Derrick Rose in 27 games, Thibodeau isnt too concerned.
I dont worry about any of that, Thibodeau said before Game 2 on Tuesday. I just worry about coaching my team.
However, if coaches got the chance to vote, Thibodeau could have counted on support from the Sixers Doug Collins. Before the game Collins said there were about four coaches he could have cast votes for but Thibodeau would have gotten his top vote.
The one thing is, Tom Thibodeau is Coach of the Year, Collins said after Game 1. He was the Coach of the Year last year and he is this year. He knows what hes doing coaching his team. Thibs is my buddy.
Its taking forever Not counting the All-Star break, the Sixers had two instances where they had to wait two days before playing another game. But so far in the playoffs they will have two days between two games before the series even reaches Philadelphia.
Suffice it to say, the players are raring to go after two days between Game 1 and Game 2.
Normally two days between games is what you're used to, but this year your body and your mind has to adapt to one day or no days for so long that it does feel a little weird, said Sixers center Spencer Hawes, who has missed 29 games this year because of injuries.
When we saw the schedule for the playoffs we were like, Man, two days between games we havent had any stretches like that all year long.
The Sixers and Bulls will get two days off before they play Game 3, too. However, the rest of the series will progress with just one day off between games.
E-mail John R. Finger at

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