The Chicago Bulls are one of the few teams in the NBA that place a heavy importance on their bench, so it is without much surprise that the best bench player in the league right now calls Chicago his home. Taj Gibson, backup power forward for Chicago for the past four years, has had the best year of his career so far. His play off the bench puts Gibson as one of the main front-runners for winning the Sixth Man Award.
Gibson’s play this year has been phenomenal. He has proved his talents against every single opponent the Bulls have gone up against. Gibson has been showing excellent play on the defensive side of the court, shutting down opposing offenses with ease. But Gibson has more to offer than just a capable defense. He has also had a stellar year on offense as well. Gibson scores 13.0 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
Gibson’s toughest competition for the Sixth Man Award right now is Reggie Jackson, who plays with the Oklahoma City Thunder. But while Jackson has also had a strong year, filling in as a starter when Russell Westbrook was out with an injury, his contributions can in no way compare to the level of play Gibson has put up.
Gibson has shown up strong in almost every single game he has participated in, leading some to propose that he might in fact be put to better use as a starter. This can be proven by the fact that coach Tom Thibodeau goes for Gibson in the last few minutes of close games, irking starting power forward Carlos Boozer.
As the last remaining member of Chicago’s original “Bench Mob,” Gibson has kept up his extraordinary gameplay, never letting it falter when things turned sour for Chicago. It would be a dishonor to the Sixth Man Award if Gibson is not within the top three contenders to receive it when all is said and done.