According to ESPN Chicago's Nick Friedell, Gibson took a nasty spill in the fourth quarter after landing awkwardly on his ankle:
Gibson is being taken off the floor not putting much weight at all on the ankle.— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) April 30, 2014
The team quickly announced his status to return was questionable with about six minutes left in the contest:
Friedell added more after the game:
Taj Gibson putting no weight on his ankle. Says x-rays showed no break.— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) April 30, 2014
Before the injury, Gibson put in 25 minutes of work and tallied 12 points, four rebounds and three blocks.
An obvious favorite for the Sixth Man of the Year Award after averaging 13 points, 6.8 boards and 1.4 blocks per game in the regular season off the bench, Gibson was once again the glue piece on Tuesday night, as he helped his team attempt to fend off elimination.
Gibson scored a minimum of 12 points and four rebounds in each contest against Washington. On an otherwise shaky roster, he was a critical component that saved the Bulls from being swept outright—the only other capable players who could absorb minutes at the position were Carlos Boozer and Louis Amundson.
It's not all bad news for Gibson.
The injury and finality of his fifth pro season via first-round elimination sting, but he has plenty of recovery time ahead and will surely be ready to get back to work next season.
The future looks bright in that regard, as the Bulls can stockpile talent this offseason to help build around Gibson, who will surely be a starter next year at the 4.