New York Knicks: Taj Gibson is thriving in his hometown

The New York Knicks have one of the deepest rosters in the league and it’s already showing in the preseason.

When hearing conversations about the team’s depth, you’ll frequently hear names like Derrick Rose, Nerlens Noel, Immanuel Quickley, and Alec Burks. Don’t forget about Taj Gibson.

New York Knicks: Taj Gibson thriving in NYC

People forget that Gibson played for the Knicks in the season before Tom Thibodeau took over as head coach.

Now 36-years-old, the expectations for Taj Gibson aren’t what they used to be. Still, I’m not so sure people realize that he was still seeing heavy minutes just a few seasons ago.

With Tom Thibodeau at the helm, many will point to their “Chicago days” together, the last time both Gibson and Thibodeau saw real sustained success. Taj Gibson was still seeing significant minutes in his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Minnesota Timberwolves before joining the New York Knicks.

It seems like whenever his number is called upon, he’s going to outperform his expectations.

There are times you forget that he’s undersized for a center. Taj Gibson is 6’8 — he’s played power forward for the majority of his career.

He doesn’t compensate for the height with athleticism. Instead, Gibson utilizes his strength and technique, and savvy to find ways to grab rebounds and be a grinder down low.

Last night, Taj Gibson posted 21 points and 9 rebounds in the Knicks preseason win over the Pistons.

Is the fountain of youth actually just the fountain in Washington Square Park? Gibson, the Fort Greene, Brooklyn native, has looked rejuvenated being back in the city.

The baconeggandcheese diet is the key to success.

Last season, the Knicks’ efficiency differential went up by +5.2 points when Taj Gibson was on the court. That ranked in the top 80% of all centers in the NBA.

He brings a winning brand of basketball to the court.

We saw Gibson get emotional at times last season when talking about his current situation. Playing in his hometown, for a playoff team, alongside both his longtime coach Tom Thibodeau and his longtime teammate Derrick Rose.

How many 36-year-old players are there in the NBA are there who are not only impactful locker-room leaders but can drop 21-9 when called upon? Give you a productive 25 minutes per game over a 15 game span when someone gets hurt?

Taj Gibson is here to do whatever it takes to win.