May 6, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Chicago Bulls power forward Taj Gibson (right) greets teammate center Joakim Noah (left) during their game against the Miami Heat in game one of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. The Bulls won 93-86. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Thibodeau calls Taj Gibson the Chicago Bulls’ best player in camp


Since joining the Chicago Bulls in 2010, Tom Thibodeau has become one of the elite head coaches in the NBA.

The former Doc Rivers assistant is 157-73 in three seasons with the Bulls, was named the 2011 NBA coach of the year, guided the Bulls to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2011 and upset the Brooklyn Nets without star point guard Derrick Rose in the first round of the postseason last year.

In other words, Thibodeau knows basketball.

According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, Thibodeau thinks big man Taj Gibson has been the Bulls’ best player so far in camp.

‘‘You could make a case that Taj has been our best player in camp,’’ Thibodeau told Cowley.

Last season, Gibson averaged 8.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game, a fairly disappointing season for the four-year veteran out of Southern Cal.

‘‘[Last season] wasn’t up to his standards,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘He’s playing with a lot of confidence now.’’

Improved play out of Gibson could go a long way for a Bulls team that expects to contend for an NBA title this season.

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