Last week, I took a look back at Daniel Gibson’s first three years in Wine and Gold. In part two, I will review the final four seasons that Gibson spent with the Cavaliers and offer a final reflection on his tenure.
Fourth Season: 2009-10
Other than his rookie season, Gibson averaged the second lowest minutes per game for his entire career during the 2009-10 campaign. But even so, he was still productive. He posted career highs in true shooting percentage and in effective field goal percentage. His true shooting percentage (TS%) was 61 percent, which was the only time he was above 60 percent in his entire career in that statistical category. His effective field goal percentage (eFG%) finished just below 60 percent, at 59.9 percent. Gibson started only 10 games the entire season but did play in 56 games total. The vast majority of his missed games came in late March and early April, and most were due to coach Mike Brown’s decision. He missed five games in early March due to the birth of his first child. His role as a bench shooter, though, was preserved from his previous three seasons. His largest scoring output of the year came on February 2. He dropped 16 points, while going 6-of-11 from the field with two threes and also three assists. In the postseason, Gibson had little to no impact. He did not play in six of the Wine and Gold’s 11 postseason games. And in the games that he did play, he played single-digit minutes in five of them. The team would lose to the Boston Celtics in six games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, despite winning 61 games in the regular season.
Fifth Season: 2010-11
Gibson had been drafted into a budding powerhouse of a team. After four seasons of above .500 basketball, his fifth season was a taste of what it is like to be at the bottom. The team won a dismal 19 games and had the worst overall record throughout the entire NBA. Gibson appeared in 67 games and was in the starting five for 15 of them. Again, his role remained unchanged on the floor, even with the new absence of LeBron James. With it being Gibson’s fifth season, the importance of his leadership off the hardwood began to be apparent as the year dragged on. For the fourth time in five seasons, Gibson shot north of 40 percent on three-point field goals. He did see a substantial increase in minutes played, jumping up to 29.8 MPG. And for only the second time in his career, Boobie averaged double digits in PPG, with 11.6; also his career high in PPG. Individually, he had bright spots throughout the duration of the season. He had five games in which he scored over 20 points, including a 29-point performance against the Utah Jazz on December 20. He netted seven three-pointers, dished out four assists and corralled four rebounds. This was without a doubt his best game statistically speaking. For the Wine and Gold as a team, though, there were few bright spots. They had a historic stretch spanning from December 20 all the way to February 9. During then, the team lost 26 consecutive games. That set an NBA record for most losses in a row. The team also had a stretch where they lost 36 of 37 games, which includes the 26-game skid. Needless to say, the Cavs did not make the playoffs in Gibson’s fifth year but did obtain the No. 1 pick in the offseason.
Sixth Season: 2011-12
As we know, the Cavaliers drafted Kyrie Irving No. 1 overall in the 2011 NBA Draft. Gibson’s presence was essential, I believe, for Kyrie during his first year. Although their skill sets are clearly different, Boobie’s experience in the NBA as a backcourt player was needed for Kyrie in the locker room as well as on the court. Gibson made an appearance in only 35 of the Cleveland’s 82 games, starting just seven. His final appearance during the season came on March 19 against the New Jersey Nets, a game which he had four points and one assist. The rest of the season Gibson spent in a suit and tie on the sidelines due to a torn tendon in his foot. Without him, the team would stumble to the finish line. They won just four games after he was declared out for the season. The Wine and Gold won just 21 games all season long, and for the second consecutive year, did not obtain a postseason berth.
Seventh Season: 2012-13
After foot surgery, Boobie looked to rebound and contribute to the Wine and Gold once again. Much like the previous season, though, Gibson was plagued with a slew of injuries; from his elbow to his ankle to a concussion. He played in 45 games, his second lowest total ever. His three-point percentage was a career low at 34 percent. It is tough for a shooter like Gibson to establish any rhythm throughout the season while constantly missing games with different injuries. His eFG% was 45 percent, another career low. Boobie started off the year strong in November. He had a five-game sequence where he scored in double figures four times, including a 19-point game in a loss to the Phoenix Suns on November 9. For the entire month of November, Gibson had eight double figure games. As for the remainder of the year, Boobie only had three double figure scoring games. The final game Gibson appeared in during the season was on April 14. In what is likely his final game wearing Wine and Gold, he roamed the floor for 12 minutes with five assists and two points. And for the third consecutive season, the team would miss the postseason.
It was unfortunate that this past season could not have been any better for longtime Cavalier Daniel Gibson. A rocky final season will not taint his legacy around Cleveland. Fans will remember his ability to launch, and keep launching, the three-point shot. They will reminisce on his pregame handshakes with LeBron and his other past teammates and his loud bench antics while cheering on his team. Gibson saw the highs and lows of the Cavaliers the past seven years but one thing is certain: The city of Cleveland will always have a place in its heart for fan favorite Daniel “Boobie” Gibson.