In a season where Joakim Noah is making a push for First Team All-NBA and D.J. Augustin has emerged as a legitimate point guard in this league, Taj Gibson has been quietly putting together his best season ever in a Chicago Bulls uniform. Averaging 13.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game while putting in 28.8 minutes a night, Gibson has established himself as a front-runner for the Sixth Man of The Year Award.
On Friday night against the last place Milwaukee Bucks, Gibson was able to continue his success coming off the bench with another solid effort. The Bulls, who led by 16 at halftime, controlled the game all night, with the exception of a run by the Bucks early in the fourth quarter when they cut the lead to eight points. Gibson was a large part of their success tonight though as usual, his impact was almost unnoticeable without looking at the box score. Playing a very balanced game, Gibson would finish the game with 13 points, four rebounds, two steals and one block, almost matching his season averages exactly.
Having a guy that can come into the game and contribute large minutes and close in on a double-double on any given night is a huge asset for the Bulls because without Gibson they would be relying on Carlos Boozer‘s defensive skills late in games, which are shaky at best. Heading down the stretch the Bulls will need Gibson’s on-court energy to help them close out this season on a positive note as they attempt to secure the number three seed in the Eastern Conference.