Carlesimo, 63, took over as Brooklyn's interim head coach when the team was really struggling in the early going. After a couple of mostly unsuccessful coaching stints with Portland and Golden State in the 1990s, Carlesimo enters the postseason with his career as a head coach possibly on the line.
Most feel that Carlesimo has to at least win one series if he hopes to be retained as the permanent head coach in Brooklyn next year. That may not seem like an unmanageable challenge against an injury-riddled Bulls team, but the fact that Carlesimo has a career record of 3-9 in the playoffs may speak volumes to the front office.
This may be the best chance he has left at landing a permanent gig in the NBA. Carlesimo has done a nice job making the most of a messy situation, and he has his team playing some of their best ball of the year, although the fans in Brooklyn are at least expecting a shot to dethrone LeBron James and the Heat.
Thibodeau, 55, on the other hand, has more job security than just about any other coach in the NBA.
What he and the Bulls do so well is execute on the defensive end. Even with their long list of injuries, Chicago still ranks as one of the top defensive teams in the league. Led by veteran forwards Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer, Thibodeau's bunch will be a tough out in the playoffs.
After leading the Bulls to an impressive 112-36 mark in his first two years as the head coach in Chicago, Thibodeau has done a terrific job handling the team with Derrick Rose out all season. The Bulls could be swept by Brooklyn, lose every game by double digits and Thibodeau could go to sleep knowing his job was safe.
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