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The Thibodeau Paradox: Can you win too much in regular season?

Tom Thibodeau's firing as Chicago Bulls head coach, made official Thursday, has been rumored for so long it's easy to forget how shocking this really is. The Bulls won nearly 65 percent of their games during Thibodeau's five years in Chicago, the league's fourth-best record in that span behind the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat. Chicago reached the 50-win mark three times, including the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season (50-16) and in 2014-15 (50-32), Thibodeau's last as coach in Chicago.

So yes, when Bulls general manager Gar Forman said in the news release announcing Thibodeau's firing that "over the last five years we have had some success with Tom as our head coach," it's safe to consider that an understatement.

Yet Chicago's playoff success hasn't been commensurate with its peers in the standings, with the Bulls winning just two playoff series since the 2011 conference finals. How much of the blame for that is attributable to Thibodeau will determine whether this move is shrewd or crazy.