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Gibson Has Been Stabilizer For Wolves

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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The Minnesota Timberwolves signing Taj Gibson this offseason wasn’t the most talked about. It wasn’t ranked as “one of the best offseason’s best signings!”

The thought was that Gibson was 32 and would be a complimentary piece to Karl-Anthony Towns, Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins.

Here we are 47 games into Gibson’s tenure with the Wolves and his impact on the team has been undeniable.

While Gibson is 32 years old and should be out of the prime of his career, he's not playing like it. The Wolves would not be 29-18 without Gibson’s productivity on the court (especially defensively) and his leadership.

Gibson is averaging 12.1 points per game, his highest mark since 2013-14. He’s hauling in a career-high 7.7 rebounds per game while shooting a scorching 57.4 percent (sixth in the NBA) from the field, the best mark of his career by about five percent.

The Tom Thibodeau disciple has 13 double-doubles this season after finishing with 11 all of last season. His career high for double doubles came back in 2009-10 when he had 18. His Bulls went 41-41 that season. Gibson will almost surely end with more than 18 double-doubles this season and the Wolves will eclipse that 41-win mark.

“My thing is that I’m the guy that picks the pieces up,” Gibson said. “I’m that one guy that always connects with everybody, even when things king of get disorganized, and I’m the guy that has pushed aside all my own values, all my own little goals I want to have, just for the sake of the team, I’m going to do whatever it takes.”

Gibson, along with Butler, have changed the culture in Minnesota, a culture that they ultimately hope to turn into winning, defense and work ethic.

“You can’t say enough about the toughness Taj gives you,” Thibodeau said.

Gibson spent his first six seasons with Thibodeau, and there was plenty of winning. He’s continued that in season No. 7 with Thibodeau, just two seasons later.