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Phan and LaMarca: Betting and DFS Impact of the Tom Thibodeau Firing

Jan 08, 2019 11:05 AM EST
Credit:

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Former Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau.

  • Tom Thibodeau was fired by the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night after a 19-21 start to the season
  • Thibodeau has been known to play his starters heavy minutes, so his firing could have a big impact from a DFS and betting perspective

Timberwolves president and head coach Tom Thibodeau is officially out in Minnesota after a win over the Lakers on Sunday.

His tenure with the Wolves can best be described as unremarkable, leading them to the playoffs once and compiling a win percentage of .473, but he leaves behind a legacy that will be hard to forget.

The Action Network’s Matt LaMarca and Justin Phan discuss the significance of Thibodeau’s firing for bettors and DFS players.

Matt LaMarca: Thibodeau developed a reputation for playing his players heavy minutes, despite the fact that the rest of the league was focusing more and more on things like rest and injury management.

He’s had a player finish in the top four in minutes per game every season since taking over as a head coach, culminating with all five of his starters averaging at least 33 minutes last season.

Ironically, the year where Thibs was ultimately fired was the one where his minute management was the most reasonable. Karl-Anthony Towns is currently averaging his fewest minutes per game since his rookie season, while Andrew Wiggins is averaging the lowest mark of his entire career. No one on the team currently ranks in the top 20 in terms of minutes per game.

Justin Phan: Even if their overall minutes are down, Thibs has still been particularly reckless this season, unnecessarily extending minutes for players even while they deal with injuries.