Taj Gibson wasn’t in the NBA two weeks ago, but now the 38-year-old big man plays an important role for the Knicks, writes Stefan Bondy of the New York Post. With Mitchell Robinson possibly out for the season and Jericho Sims sidelined for another week or two, Gibson has become the team’s primary backup center. He played 15 minutes in the Christmas Day game against Milwaukee after Isaiah Hartenstein got into foul trouble and even spent time defending Giannis Antetokounmpo.
“Taj’s defensive play was fantastic,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “His fast-paced comedies energize us.”
Gibson is Thibodeau’s longtime favorite, but he wasn’t expected to have such an active role when he signed with the team on Dec. 15. Circumstances forced him to become more than just a veteran presence on the bench, and he averaged 9.5 minutes in the six games he played.