The newly extended Taj Gibson must now assert himself as a leader and take control of the new -- and struggling -- Bench Mob.
The Bulls new Bench Mob isn’t performing the way that many had hoped they would this season.
With a new cast of characters and guys still trying to find their way in Tom Thibodeau’s system, the group at times has looked in disarray and hasn’t functioned well as a unit.
The inconsistent play of the bench has been one of many contributing factors in the Bulls 5-5 record this season, and because he is the only holdover from the Bench Mob of the last two seasons, it’s time for Taj Gibson to step into a leadership role and take command of the second unit.
The Bench Mob was the "second superstar" alongside Derrick Rose the past two seasons and was known for being a gritty bunch that played extremely hard on the defensive end of the floor. But this year’s group of reserves is nowhere near that.
"I don’t like comparing teams, but that’s what we did well last year. The second unit came in and got stops in a row. That’s what we’ve got to get back to," said Luol Deng to the Chicago Sun-Times recently.
"Even if we can’t score, we’ve got to fall back on our defense," said Gibson, who is averaging seven points, four rebounds and two blocks this season. "That’s the thing about the bench last year, even if we didn’t score, we made sure the other unit didn’t score on us. That’s one of the things we have to adjust to."
Whatever adjustments need to be made, they need to happen fast and Gibson needs to step into a leadership role even faster.
Despite being soft spoken off the court, Taj is a fiery competitor on it. This group will follow his lead, he just needs to grab the reigns.