Roster Review | Taj Gibson
PF | 6’9, 235 lbs
2017-18 season: 82 games, 82 starts, 33.2 MPG, 12.2 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 1.2 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.7 BPG, 57.7 FG%, 76.8 FT%
When it comes to the value of an offseason signing, it’s hard to beat what Taj Gibson did for the Wolves.
Gibson helped the Wolves reach their goal – a postseason appearance. And while doing that, he had the best season of his NBA career.
He averaged the most points of his career since 2013-14 while averaging a career-high 7.1 rebounds per game. He also shot a scorching 57.7 percent from the field, which was not only a career high, but also ranked sixth in the entire league.
Gibson’s numbers don’t do him justice when describing what he does for the team. He’s the guy fighting through screens, diving after loose balls and tracking down long rebounds.
He proved to be the perfect guy for players like Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins to learn winning basketball from.
Top Three Games Of The Season
3.) Dec. 25 at Los Angeles Lakers
Gibson was great in this nationally-televised Christmas game. He showed the audience why Tom Thibodeau brought him to Minnesota, finishing with 23 points, nine rebounds and a steal. He shot a near-perfect 11-for-13 from the field and 1-for-1 from deep.
2.) Feb. 15 vs. Lakers
Gibson had a solid season against the Lakers, averaging 20.8 points and eight rebounds in four games. He proved it again in this one, finishing with 28 points, eight rebounds, two blocks, one assist and one steal in a 119-111 home win. He was super-efficient once again, shooting 11-for-16 from the field (68.8 percent) and 6-for-6 from the free-throw line.
1.) Nov. 22 vs. Orlando Magic
Gibson’s best game of the season came in a 124-118 home win over the Magic. In the win, Gibson was a team-high +21 and finished with 24 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block. He shot 8-for-11 from the field and 8-for-10 from the free-throw line. It was one of five games (including the two games above this) that Gibson scored 20 or more points on the season.
Top Offseason Objectives
At 32, we know the type of player that Gibson is – a hard-working player who is the ultimate glue guy. He can defend four positions and can be a solid offensive contributor if need be.
The next step for Gibson is developing his 3-point shot. He shot a career-high 35 3-pointers in 2017-18 and connected on seven of them. That’s only 20 percent, I know, but Gibson had only taken 35 3-point attempts in his previous eight seasons combined. Don’t be surprised if Gibson is shooting one 3-pointer per game in 2018-19.
Role for 2018-19
The role for Gibson will be pretty much the same as it was in his first season with the Wolves. He’s a veteran presence with plenty of experience to help the team. Gibson is a guy who brings the intensity every single night and is one of the best defenders in the game. He’s one of the most-respected competitors in the league. There’s a reason he’s been in the playoffs eight out of his nine seasons in the league.
They Said It…
“I tell them to go out there and burn yourself out really, because when you’re watching the games at home in the summer you’re going to have a lot of regrets. You’ll heal up in the summer. These are the games you’re going to look back on; what if I did this, what if I had done that? Try not to have any regrets, that’s the main thing I try and tell the guys. Go out there and play, because playoff time, you got to go lay it out on the line. There’s no tomorrow.” – Gibson on the Wolves giving everything for their playoff push.