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Taj Gibson, Joakim Noah ejected late in Game 2 (Video)

Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah were ejected from Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals between the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night after arguing calls.

Gibson seemed to be upset about two calls in a row in the fourth quarter, including what appeared to be a goaltend by Chris Andersen on the previous possession. The refs probably weren’t as concerned with small calls since the Bulls were down by 35 points at the time.

After the missed goaltending call, Ray Allen drove, made a layup, and a foul was called on Marquis Teague, who barely touched him. Noah was on the bench at the time of the foul and began arguing it. He came off the bench to protest and was assessed his second technical foul (he received a tech in the first quarter for his skirmish with LeBron James). He was automatically ejected for receiving a second tech.

Then, Gibson began yapping during Allen’s technical free throw. He was assessed a technical foul, then swore at referee Scott Foster to get his second technical, leading to his ejection. He was fuming.

Here’s a shot of Noah coming off the bench to argue the call:

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Taj Gibson dunks on Kris Humphries (Video)

Taj-Gibson-dunk-on-Kris-HumphriesThe Chicago Bulls will need energizing performances from their bench throughout the playoffs if they plan to make a deep run. In particular, guys like Taj Gibson need to step up with Joakim Noah battling through a painful case of plantar fasciitis in his foot. Gibson made a big contribution on Thursday night.

He may have only scored four points in Chicago’s 79-76 Game 3 win over the Brookltn Nets, but two of them were game-changers. During what turned out to be a 9-1 run that led to a 12-point lead for the Bulls in the second quarter, Gibson dunked all over Kris Humphries. The United Center went insane.

The Bulls took a 2-1 series lead over the Nets with the win, which is exactly where they want to be after three games. They did their job in splitting the first two games in Brooklyn, and now Chicago will look to take a commanding 3-1 lead on Saturday. If role players like Gibson and Nate Robinson step up, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to take the series.

Taj Gibson sent a pretty awesome tweet after signing extension

Taj Gibson signed a contract extension with the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, beating the deadline for 2009 draft picks to sign long-term deals with their current team. His new contract is for four years and $38 million, which averages to $9.5 million per season. Gibson was pretty ecstatic to sign the new deal. He sent the following tweet:

It’s pretty impossible not to be happy for the guy after reading something like that. Gibson was the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year at USC in 2009 — the same year he was drafted — and he left as the career blocks leader for the Trojans. Even though he only averages around 20 or so minutes per game with the Bulls, he’s still an effective defender and rebounder, and can even score some.

Congratulations to Gibson on the big contract. He’s a good player and certainly deserves it.

Taj Gibson: Joakim Noah Received Verbal Abuse from Drunk Fan

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah was fined $50,000 for cussing at a fan and directing a gay slur towards him (see the video here). It’s never acceptable to use the language Noah did, he knows that, and that’s why he apologized. But just because Noah’s getting criticized for the incident doesn’t mean he’s the only one who deserves blame in the situation. The fan also should take some responsibility for being out of line.

Forward Taj Gibson told CBS Sports’ Ken Berger that a drunk fan was verbally abusing Noah prior to the slur. “The guy just kept going. I know the crowd looked at the guy too, like, ‘Come on man, leave him alone. It’s over.’ But the guy just kept going. … It was the usual, but in that circumstances, it was heavy because he was really loud. And he was a big guy, too. He was intoxicated. When I saw him, I was surprised, because he just kept going and going. Normally a fan may say a couple of things and then sit down. But he just kept going and going, and it was Joakim the whole time.”

Having thick skin is part of playing professional sports, but to assume athletes are able to ignore fan taunts and heckling is foolish. We’ve seen Milton Bradley go after fans, and we even heard LeBron respond to one in Detroit. They hear it, and sometimes it’s tough not to react. I’m not excusing Noah, but the fan needs some blame too. Purchasing a ticket (even if it’s for thousands of dollars), does not entitle one to become a drunken jerk at a game. Fans should be held responsible for their actions too and getting hammered and cussing out players is unacceptable, especially with children around.

Additionally, the $50,000 fine is reasonable because it helps send the message that that sort of language is unacceptable. The problem is the NBA is only reactionary with this issue, not proactive. They only respond if the media applies pressure to them. If this video or the Kobe video doesn’t get shown on TV or on several websites, they wouldn’t do anything. Do they fine players for yelling f-bombs, or the n-word which is equally offensive? Of course not. They’re just reacting to public pressure and want to make sure people know they’re doing what’s politically correct. If they really cared about getting rid of the language, they’d fine players in low-profile situations, not just when Kobe or Noah say it during highly-watched games.

Taj Gibson Dunk on Dwyane Wade (Video) and Putback Dunk to End Game

Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson set the internet on fire with a monster dunk on Dwyane Wade during Game 1 Sunday. Check out this video Gibson posterizing Wade:

We’ve seen some monster dunks throughout the playoffs, namely Kobe’s dunk on Emeka Okafor during the first round of the playoffs, but this is probably the best of the bunch. Now you might have figured Gibson would have been done at that point, but that wasn’t the case. Check out his spectacular putback at the end of the game:

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