Gibson's career night makes up for absences of Noah, Boozer

Gibson's career night makes up for absences of Noah, Boozer

Thibodeau: Taj was just plain terrific

February 2, 2013, 11:45 pm
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ATLANTA — Compared to the previous evening in his hometown of Brooklyn, Taj Gibson had a light workload in the Bulls’ 93-76 win Saturday night over the Hawks at Philips Arena.

Gibson played all 48 minutes Friday and while he performed admirably in the narrow defeat, the backup power forward, masquerading as a starting center, took it up a notch against Atlanta, scoring 19 points and corralling a career-high 19 rebounds.

“I’m exhausted,” he admitted. “They kept giving me electrolytes on the bench, but I just kept wanting to play. I know that late in the game [Friday], I ran out of gas. I didn’t want that to happen tonight because I felt like we let one slide last night and this team is even better, so I had to go out there and play even harder.”

“I don’t really look at stats. I’m just happy my team got the win and move forward,” continued Gibson, apparently unaware of how many rebounds he finished with. “[My teammates] were telling me, ‘Keep going, keep going,’ but I wasn’t worried about the rebounds or my points. I just wanted us to win this game.”

Gibson was a relentless force on the glass, battling Hawks center Al Horford, providing his typically active defensive presence and controlling the paint with teammates Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer sidelined with injuries.

“What can you say about Taj? Let’s start there. He had 19 points, 19 rebounds, coming off a big-minute night last night. Hustle plays, everything. Just playing terrific,” Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau marveled. “I see him every day. I see the type of commitment he’s made to the team. plays through injuries, plays tough, plays hard. Does whatever you ask, does whatever the team needs, so I was confident that he was going to play great tonight. I feel that way about all of the guys.”

All-Star Luol Deng added: “He’s playing great. He’s not used to the minutes, but he’s just got to keep playing and get better.”

One sequence in particular, late in the third quarter, was emblematic of the night that the Bulls and Gibson specifically had. On a single possession, the Bulls grabbed four offensive rebounds and finished the trip with a Gibson tip-in, drawing the appreciation of the entire bench.

“It just symbolized the way Joakim and Carlos play. I bang with them every day in practice,” Gibson said. “So there’s no difference. I just went out there and did my job.

“They just believe in me. They know what I can do. They know I did this in the past, when Booz went down [early in the 2010-11 season]. I just go out there and do my job. Joakim and Booz just talk to me about different tendencies, and just go at them,” he continued. “Just the will. I wanted to be there for my teammates. I wanted to hold down the post for Joakim and Booz. Just go out there and play.”

Thibodeau chimed in: “Big hustle plays like that, tough hustle plays, I think unite and inspire your team, so when a guy does something like that, it helps everyone. It lifts everyone up and the more you do stuff like that, the better it is because that’s what it takes to win and you have to be consistent with that.”

Undermanned or not, the Bulls continue to beat the odds, rise to the occasion and behind timely, galvanizing performances like Gibson’s Saturday night, they remain a force to be reckoned with, regardless of who suits up.





ATLANTA—Compared to the previous evening in his hometown of Brooklyn, Taj Gibson had a light workload in the Bulls’ 93-76 win Saturday night over the Hawks at Philips Arena.

 

Gibson played all 48 minutes Friday and while he performed admirably in the narrow defeat, the backup power forward, masquerading as a starting center, took it up a notch against Atlanta, scoring 19 points and corralling a career-high 19 rebounds.

 

“I’m exhausted,” he admitted. “They kept giving me electrolytes on the bench, but I just kept wanting to play. I know that late in the game [Friday], I ran out of gas. I didn’t want that to happen tonight because I felt like we let one slide last night and this team is even better, so I had to go out there and play even harder.”

 

“I don’t really look at stats. I’m just happy my team got the win and move forward,” continued Gibson, apparently unaware of how many rebounds he finished with. “[His teammates] were telling me, ‘Keep going, keep going,’ but I wasn’t worried about the rebounds or my points. I just wanted us to win this game.”

 

Gibson was a relentless force on the glass, battling Hawks center Al Horford, providing his typically active defensive presence and controlling the paint with teammates Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer sidelined with injuries.

 

“What can you say about Taj? Let’s start there. He had 19 points, 19 rebounds, coming off a big-minute night last night. Hustle plays, everything. Just playing terrific,” Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau marveled. “I see him every day. I see the type of commitment he’s made to the team. plays through injuries, plays tough, plays hard. Does whatever you ask, does whatever the team needs, so I was confident that he was going to play great tonight. I feel that way about all of the guys.”

 

All-Star Luol Deng added: “He’s playing great. He’s not used to the minutes, but he’s just got to keep playing and get better.”

 

One sequence in particular, late in the third quarter, was emblematic of the night that the Bulls and Gibson specifically had. On a single possession, the Bulls grabbed four offensive rebounds and finished the trip with a Gibson tip-in, drawing the appreciation of the entire bench.

 

“It just symbolized the way Joakim and Carlos play. I bang with them every day in practice,” Gibson said. “So there’s no difference. I just went out there and did my job.

 

“They just believe in me. They know what I can do. They know I did this in the past, when Booz went down [early in the 2010-11 season]. I just go out there and do my job. Joakim and Booz just talk to me about different tendencies, and just go at them,” he continued. “Just the will. I wanted to be there for my teammates. I wanted to hold down the post for Joakim and Booz. Just go out there and play.”

 

Thibodeau chimed in: “Big hustle plays like that, tough hustle plays, I think unite and inspire your team, so I think when a guy does something like that, it helps everyone. It lifts everyone up and I think the more you do stuff like that, the better it is because that’s what it takes to win and you have to be consistent with that.”

 

Undermanned or not, the Bulls continue to beat the odds, rise to the occasion and behind timely, galvanizing performances like Gibson’s Saturday night, they remain a force to be reckoned with, regardless of who suits up.



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