Is Taj Gibson Ready To Start For The Chicago Bulls?

Sayre BedingerSenior Writer INovember 7, 2009

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 29: Taj Gibson #22 of the Chicago Bulls waits for a foul shot against the San Antonio Spurs at the United Center on October 29, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Spurs 92-85. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

When the Chicago Bulls drafted Taj Gibson 26th overall back in July, many considered him to be an after thought; a guy who would come in with the rest of the scrubs and get meaningless minutes at the end of a blowout win or loss.

How quickly the tables can turn.

During the preseason, Gibson proved he was an asset to this Chicago Bulls team, not just as a lanky, shot-blocking defender, but he could score the ball a little bit as well.

His preseason performances earned the rookie a chance to play in the regular season, far more substantially than fellow first round pick James Johnson of Wake Forest who has played a mere fraction of the minutes of Gibson.

In the Bulls' most recent game, an 86-85 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Gibson posted a career high in points (11), rebounds (seven), and minutes (33:47), and that stat line proved to be much more important than any Bulls fan originally anticipated.

Starting power forward Tyrus Thomas suffered a freak injury while lifting weights on Friday when he broke his arm, just a day after playing with some form of a flu virus.

Thomas' injury will set him back four-to-six weeks, opening the door for the six-foot-nine rookie out of Southern California.

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Starting on Saturday night, Gibson and his seven-foot-five wingspan will be on display as the Bulls take on the Charlotte Bobcats.

Is Gibson ready to be a starter in the NBA?

The Bulls are certainly willing to find out, as this 24-year old rookie has shown poise and defensive ability beyond his years.