Taj Gibson was the 26th overall pick in the 2009 draft. He was a three year starter at the University of Southern California and was the best thing to happen to the program's basketball team since Harold Miner.
Gibson is another one of those lunchpail and hard hat type of players. He plays only 20 minutes per game, but he plays each of those minutes like it could be his last. On the surface he doesn't appear to be the most athletic specimen, but has a roughly 31" vertical leap and runs the length of the court in just under 4.5 seconds.
His hard work made him a starter his rookie year, but was relegated to the bench once Carlos Boozer was signed away from the Utah Jazz.
Gibson has molded into one of the best big men coming off the bench in all of the NBA. Over his three years in the NBA his minutes have decreased but his production has risen. He's gone from 7.1 PPG his rookie year to about 12.5 this year. He controls 14.8% of all rebounds in a game (over 17% on the defensive end).
He's not a great low post defender, but he is solid. His defensive rating is a little over 96, which is better than Serge Ibaka. Gibson plays about half the minutes as Ibaka, but per 48 out does him in points, rebounds, assists, and steals. He only trails him in blocks.
Not bad for a bench player who only plays about 20 minutes a night.
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