Chicago Bulls: Comparing Taj Gibson and Omer Asik

Paul GrossingerAnalyst IIApril 10, 2012

Chicago Bulls: Comparing Taj Gibson and Omer Asik

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    The Chicago Bulls’ secret to success is their stellar frontcourt.  The most important part of it is the impressive backup duo of Taj Gibson and Omer Asik.

    Gibson and Asik are young, energetic and talented big men who play critical roles in the Bulls' best rotations.  In fact, their defense is so tenacious that Chicago gives up nearly 10 fewer points a game when they are on the floor together.

    But who is the Bulls’ better future frontcourt star?

Taj Gibson is the Better Scorer

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    Gibson may be one of Chicago’s top scorers in a few years.  He already scores in double digits during his starts and has some aggressive moves in the post. 

    What is holding Gibson back is his fouling. He overzealously hacks at any opponent who tries to drive to the rim and can’t stay in the game for starters' minutes. 

    But Gibson is still much better offensively than Asik, who struggles to score on anything other than a put-back.  To evolve as a player, Asik desperately needs to learn some core offensive moves.

Omer Asik is a Dominant Defender

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    Gibson is an excellent defender, but Asik is just dominant.  It’s not really fair to compare what they do on that end of the floor.  Gibson is a fluid 4 who sticks to opponents like glue and can defend both in and out of the paint. 

    By contrast, Asik is an unholy force in the zone defense.  Enormous, he stays in the painted area and shuts it down.  He is so large that when he lunges at a shooting opponent, he almost always disrupts their shot in some way.

    So, Gibson is no slouch on defense, but Asik is a game-changer in the paint.   

The Verdict: Gibson Is Better Now, but the Bulls Need Asik More for the Future

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    Gibson is a more polished player than Asik.  He is a more developed offensive player, and he has the defensive fluidity to guard both 4s and 5s. 

    But Asik is absolutely essential to the Bulls. He is the backup center who can completely shut down the paint, and he serves as the pillar of the team’s best defensive sets.

    So, who is better?  It’s a close call.  Gibson is better, but Asik is the more essential piece to Chicago’s success.