Taj Gibson Thinks Bulls Can Compete Without Derrick Rose

by September 04, 2012

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.'”