NEW YORK--Brooklyn native Taj Gibson led the Bulls in scoring with 20 points, while also snatching eight rebounds. The Bulls’ top reserve is actually from the Fort Greene neighborhood, where the Nets’ arena, the Barclays Center is located, so getting to come home for the holiday is quite an event for him.
“It was stressful, man. I did a toy drive yesterday. I was just tired. Thibs told me this was going to happen,“ he explained. “But I’m just happy to be back, happy to represent my family, my neighborhood, Fort Greene. I’m just blessed.”
Gibson is already building chemistry with D.J. Augustin off the bench.
“He’s super unselfish and he’s a leader. I played against him in college, when he was at Texas and I’ve always been a fan, and having him here now is just great. He does everything for our team and then we’ve got Kirk. It’s good for our team,” he explained. “We just felt good. Having D.J. and then Kirk coming back has been a real energy boost for us. But we’ve been playing real unselfish basketball. We’ve been scoring points the last couple games. It’s just good to have some defense on our side tonight. It just feels good that we’re getting a rhythm. I think we’re in a rhythm right now. We’ve just got to continue pushing.”
As usual, Thibodeau praised Gibson’s strong effort.
“Taj is playing great because of this: He worked incredibly hard all summer. He’s been, by far, our best practice player. Comes early, stays late, practices hard,” the coach said. “I’m not surprised one bit that he had a great training camp, had a great preseason and he’s gotten off to a terrific start, and I always say this: The magic is in the work. If you work and you practice well, you will play well.”