Season in Review: Daniel Gibson

June 19, 2012
by Joe Gabriele Beat Writer

Season Overview: It still feels strange to consider Daniel Gibson one of the team’s grizzled veterans.

Some Cavaliers fans will always remember Boobie as the fresh-faced rookie who canned all five three-point attempts against the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals. But that was five years ago and, like the squad that drafted him, Gibson’s game has changed since the halcyon days of 2007.

Through much of Gibson’s five-year career, he’s been seen as a pure shooter – making two trips to All-Star Weekend’s Long-Distance Shootout along with his famous shooting spree against Detroit. He’s creeping up the Cavaliers’ all-time three-pointer list and has shot the long-ball at a .416 clip for his career.

But last season, Gibson’s role changed. He was still bringing big energy off the bench, but under Byron Scott, Boobie became the team’s best perimeter defender. As the Cavaliers got off to a good start, the former Longhorn was the one who came with the contagious on-ball defense.

Gibson was off to solid start, but nagging injuries slowed his season down and a torn tendon in his left foot/ankle brought it to a close. Overall, Boobie missed 31 games – including the final 20 of the season on the IL.

Boobie led the team in steals and blocks in five games and notched eight games of double-figure scoring. But Gibson himself would label last season as a disappointment after a solid start.

The Cavaliers will restock in this year’s Draft, but in doing so, they’ll get even younger. With the potential departures of Antawn Jamison and Anthony Parker, Gibson – along with Anderson Varejao – would emerge as the team’s veteran leaders. When healthy, Boobie can still bring it on both ends of the court. And he’ll likely be asked to lead in the locker room as well.

Highlight: Gibson didn’t have a big offensive outpouring in any game last season, but did notch19 points in 27 minutes against the Nets in a New Year’s Day victory at The Q.

Lowlight: After missing three games after spraining his ankle against the Nets in New Jersey on March 19, Boobie missed the next three games with a sprained ankle. Days later, the tendon damage was discovered and Gibson’s season was over. The Cavaliers would go on to drop nine straight contests.

Odds and Ends: … During this season, cameras were rolling – sometimes at the Cleveland Clinic Courts – on Gibson and his celebrity wife Keyshia Cole – who were subjects of a reality show called “Family First.”

By the Numbers: 29 … three-pointers that Daniel Gibson needs to pass Wesley Person and move into the Cavaliers’ all-time top 3 in three-pointers made.

Looking forward: Gibson is one of the most popular Cavaliers – with fans, teammates, coaches and the media. Everyone wants Gibson to stay healthy and succeed. His role will be different again this season. But, as he’s proved in his half-decade in the NBA, the hard-working Houstonian will be up for the challenge.

Quotable: Now one of the teams’ veterans, Gibson, on what the old guards were like when he was a youngster …

“E. Snow was the hardest vet – he didn’t let me get away with nothing! And he was a snitch; he was a tattletale. He’d tell on anything I did. But he taught me about tough love. D. Jones was a little different – he was more the fun kinda guy. He taught me more about enjoying life and enjoying the NBA. And the one in the middle was David Wesley – who taught me the best of both worlds – how to be professional, but not be too much on the strict side. He gave me the happy medium. And it worked out perfectly for me. I took all three of their advice and kinda meshed them into one, and that’s what you have right now.”

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