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Daniel Gibson on Center Stage

For those of you who have been following the NBA playoffs, you're probably aware that Ex-Longhorn Guard Daniel Gibson has emerged in the Eastern Conference Finals as a critical component to the Cleveland Cavaliers' success. With Eric Snow in the game, the Cavs have no chance. It's as simple as that. He can't hit a 10 footer even if he's the only person in the gym. With Gibson alongside James in the backcourt, the Cavaliers are able to stretch the defense much more effectively, giving LeBron more operating room in the paint to either finish at the rim or dish to open shooters. Gibson played significant minutes in Game 3 against Detroit when starter Larry Hughes went to the bench with an injury. Gibson hit some crucial open shots, played tenacious defense, and looked poised out there in a pressure-packed situation (think the opposite of Chris Mihm).

I'ts not just his long-range ability that is being noticed though. Gibson's quick hands and feet have also stood out. Despite being only 6'2" (and that's probably generous), Gibson has held is own against the much taller, thicker, and experienced guards from Detroit. His coach certainly noticed:

He's tough; he's quick; he'll stick his nose in.

I doubt Gibson will ever be a superstar in a league as talented as the NBA, but tonight is his chance to really emerge and establish himself as a legitimate player in the league. Cleveland's starting SG Larry Hughes has declared himself doubtful for tonight's game, meaning Gibson will probably get the nod to start. It's also basically a must-win game for Cleveland--they go down 3-1 to a team as experienced as Detroit, it's over.

So, the stage is set for Gibson to make a name for himself, while trying to help help his team even the series at 2 games a piece.