OKC Thunder Offseason Improvement Series: Taj Gibson

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - APRIL 21: Taj Gibson /

In the offseason improvement series, we’ll take a look at each player on the OKC Thunder roster and determine what they need to improve on. Midseason acquisition Taj Gibson is up.

The Oklahoma City Thunder acquired Taj Gibson in a midseason trade involving multiple players with the Chicago Bulls. Although Gibson has proven to be a quality role player during his time in the NBA, his style is a bit out of date and because of this he posted some of his worst advanced statistics of his career once coming to Oklahoma City. While it’s tough to teach an old dog new tricks and Gibson’s best days are likely behind him, here’s what he needs to improve upon to ensure he continues to see minutes next season:


Through eight NBA seasons, Gibson has attempted just 35 three-pointers. I’m not suggesting he start stepping beyond the arc and jacking up three-pointers with hopes that range shooting is his undiscovered talent but I am suggesting Gibson continue to work on his midrange game.

For his career, Gibson shoots 39 percent from 10-16 feet and 37 percent from 16 feet to the three-point line. Those are solid mid-range numbers especially for a big man but they could be improved upon. If Gibson can find a way to get both those shots over 40 percent, look out.


More from Thunderous Intentions

Gibson has never been considered a lockdown defender but he’s always been solid on that end. Since coming to Oklahoma City, that’s changed.

Gibson posted his worst ever defensive box plus/minus with the Thunder and his worst ever defensive rating.

Gibson needs to get back to playing solid defense or he’ll find himself riding the pine a lot more than originally anticipated.


 Sure, Taj Gibson’s style doesn’t necessarily fit today’s extended-range NBA and he’s on the back end of his career but he still has a lot left to give. If he can get back to playing solid defense and work on improving his midrange jump shot he could be a major contributor for the Thunder next season.