Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 at 8:17 am  |  27 responses

Taj Gibson Thinks Bulls Can Compete Without Derrick Rose

Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson said Monday he’s confident Chicago can still compete—and win—in the Eastern Conference, even without star point guard Derrick Rose. Gibson, who averaged 8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks last season, is entering the fourth and final year of his contract, will look to improve his game and play a bigger role during Rose’s absence. Via ESPN.com: “‘We still did good even when we didn’t have Derrick (last season),’ said Gibson, who threw out a ceremonial first pitch before the Chicago White Sox’s game on Monday. ‘We beat the Heat without Derrick. Our mindset hasn’t changed. It’s about staying focused and taking one game at a time. We understand it’s going to be up and down at the beginning of the season. We can’t look forward to the end. We got to look forward to one game at a time and playing to our strengths and just listening to coach (Tom Thibodeau). I know it’s going to be a long season, but I’m really optimistic about what’s going to happen. Thibs already told me he wants my role to change, be more of a leader now,’ Gibson said. ‘I worked out with him a lot during the summer. I worked out with him before the (Team) USA camp. He just wanted me to work out this whole year, build confidence and get better. He thinks I can do a lot more on and off the court. I’m ready to take that next step.’”

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  • Max

    No you can’t Taj.

  • jayrose

    I’m with taj. I know the east got tougher but bulls can still compete. There a defensive mind team. That’s how they won east last 2 years so they have to keep working hard. Bulls easily make the playoffs but won’t make it far without Rose and a better upgrade than Rip at the 2. I see Jimmy butler having a good season as well as taj. If Bulls stay healthy they will shock the other teams.

  • Feez_22

    They can compete in the reg season as they were 18-9 without rose last year. However, I think they can do as best as .500 without rose until rose comes back because the east has improved over last year. Teams will be more prepared this time around due to a non-condensed schedule to face the bulls. The bulls have a few things going for them. They play hard, they rebound very well and defend very well. Teams that do these 3 things usually can win but we will see how the bulls bench reacts. The bulls imo downgraded in terms of their bench from last year which is another reason why it would be premature to think the bulls can compete as well as last year without rose.

  • 23

    Even with Derrick rose they couldn’t hold a candle to Miami. Lebron eliminated him single handedly in ’10 and ’11 . This guy is really basing this off a regular season victory against Miami??? Lol

  • LLC#12

    That’s like saying a heavyweight boxer can compete without arms. I like the bulls, I like their defence, but where is the consistent offence going to come from?

  • JAH

    Somebody please tell this guy that the lost in the 1st round HAVING a better team that this year…. #delisionalThinking

  • Comment_System

    im sorry but no. If your front office was smart, they would’ve shore up the offense that ya’ll lack in the offseason. They didnt, and now your record will reflect it.

  • ZOGS

    They can compete, DO YOU NOT REMEMBER LAST SEASON, but they’re not going to compete in any sort of finals… but a nice 1st round competition is what i expect w/o Derrick Rose.

  • Metrobus

    Dream on…..Heat champs 2012-2013

  • shockexchange

    That’s what Taj and the Bulls are paid to do. Their contracts don’t say “You are expected to play life a professional; however, if Derrick Rose is not present, you can simply show up and collect a pay check. Taj’s apparent “accountability” is far better than Luol “Tito Jackson” Deng who was throwing in the towel after Michael (D. Rose) tore his ACL.

  • 23

    The bulls did NOT win the east the past 2 years, Miami did.

  • Junior Taylor

    I can already think of 1 ECF team everyone thinks will be good next season that they are better than, the New York Knicks.

  • Feez_22

    They did win the east the last 2 years in terms of regular season record. They were the first seed 2 years in a row. Obv. miami won the conference in terms of going to the finals but I think jay means reg season.

  • 23

    I knew what he meant. But in my eyes, whoever has that eastern conference banner is the team that won the east. #1 seeds don’t mean squat. Playoffs is how we measure teams. Regular season is nothing but warmups.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/savagemuzicgroup T-Ray

    Can’t be mad at his statement you have to have confidence in your team’s abilities. The reality is that they can’t compete with the juggernauts.

  • Ron

    To compete, why not? To win or not is another matter.

  • datkid

    yeah no. they’re not going anywhere.

  • roscoe

    Just curious how some of you think Taj’s comments are respectable when just the other day the vast majority of you chuckled at Robin Lopez’s statements???

  • roscoe

    confidence or blind faith?

  • roscoe

    just add water… The heat’s title has an asterik for the short season a la Spurs via PJAX.

  • roscoe

    Okay… so everytime someone in the past b4 this finals said Lebron could not win it bc the Spurs & Mavs beat him in the finals, that meant Bron bron would never win it. The bulls are solid when rose is good even if he comes back at 85% of what he was and to say they don’t hold a candle to Miami is not the truth.

  • roscoe

    I would like to see NY rise up, but they seem fragile to me, idk.

  • Redd

    Lakers say no.

  • Redd

    We have a stronger bench this year[minus asik] so i dont see why we can’t be decent. But, I’d rather us tank so we have a chance at Jabari.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gametimeweezy Wayne Lee

    Compete for home court in the playoffs, sure.

  • RedDragon10

    Yeah, they did fine without Rose. Number one in the East. The playoffs are another story. They aren’t going to win without him. Hell, they aren’t going to go all the way with him either.

  • 23

    Im sorry but when the heat eliminated the bulls in ’11 rose was very inefficient. He had a very low fg percentage, especially when Bron was guarding him. So i just cant see how anyone thinks that the bulls are miamis level. Its unfair to miami to compare them to the bulls. Its down right insulting