Gibson Gone Wild
Posted Feb 16 2008 12:28AM
NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 16, 2008 -- Boobie likes the long ball.
Boobie especially likes the long ball from the left wing.
And Boobie might just have an allergy to paint.
Daniel "Boobie" Gibson took 20 shots in tonight's T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam, all of them from beyond the three point line. He connected on 11 of the bombs for a game-high 33 points, leading the Sophomore squad to their sixth straight Challenge win, a 136-109 victory at New Orleans Arena.
The Rookies kept the game surprisingly competitive in the first half, and it was tied at 24 with 10:46 remaining in the first half when Gibson checked in. He immediately hit a three off an assist from Jordan Farmar. The Rookies answered and led by three a few minutes later when Gibson hit four straight bombs (with a Paul Millsap miss mixed in) to help the Sophomores take back control.
"He made three in a row early and I was like, 'Wow, this dude's on fire,'" Sophomore teammate Brandon Roy said after the game. "And I did a dribble handoff with him and he made his fourth. I was like, 'We're pretty much gonna win this game.'"
For the half, Gibson hit 7-of-11 from downtown, and the "veterans" finished the half on a 19-8 run and take a 14-point lead into the break.
Gibson benefited from the drive-and-kick skills of Farmar (who assisted on four of Gibson's first-half threes) and Roy, as well as the sometimes-slow-to-get-out Rookie D.
"He told us he wanted to get ready for tomorrow night," Farmar revealed after the game, "so as the point guard, it was my job to find him, and he was just knocking them down."
You shoot 25 threes in each round of the Shootout, so putting up 20 would certainly qualify as a good warmup, except that almost all of them came from the left wing. Five of Gibson's seven first-half bombs came from right in front of his Cavaliers teammate, All-Star LeBron James, who reacted to each one by walking down the court to gloat in front of buddy Chris Paul like a proud older (by just 14 months) brother.
The second half was more of the same. The Rookies were hanging around within shouting distance (14 points) when Gibson reentered the game with 10:23 on the clock. He missed his first attempt from downtown, but on the next possession, he fed Rudy Gay with a beautiful alley-oop feed on the break. He hit a three from the left wing two possessions later, and then stripped Sean Williams to ignite a break that resulted in another Gay dunk.
More Boobie threes ensued and the rout was on.
When Gibson hit his 11th three of the night, LeBron, as if he was responsible for the barrage, stood up, started walking toward the exit and said "I'm gonna go home."
After all, the Rookies were done and so was any discussion about who should be the MVP. The award belonged to Daniel Gibson, no questions asked.
"He was the difference in this game," Roy said. "He was the reason why we separated and we were able to get a cushion to win the game."
"Last time I remember shooting like this was probably Game 6 [of the Eastern Conference Finals] in that fourth quarter," Gibson told the media.
He scored 31 points in that game, hitting 5-of-5 from downtown. The difference was that he got to the line 15 times against the Pistons. Tonight, he didn't take a shot inside the arc and he didn't get to the line once.
But hey, people have learned to live with all kinds of allergies. So there's no reason someone allergic to paint can't win the Rookie Challenge MVP.
"It was unbelievable," he said. "It was special. I never imagined, never dreamed that I would come out and shoot the ball as well as I did in an environment and atmosphere like that. So right now, I don't really know what to say. I'm just excited and I'm happy I got the opportunity."
Copyright 2008 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited