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Gibson finishes second in Sixth Man voting

Thanks to an offseason full of work, Taj Gibson had a season worthy of both Sixth Man of the Year and Most Improved Player consideration
Thanks to an offseason full of work, Taj Gibson had a season worthy of both Sixth Man of the Year and Most Improved Player considerationAP

Taj Gibson finished second to Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford in the Sixth Man of the Year voting, which was announced officially on Thursday.

Gibson received 49-first place votes and 395 points to Crawford's 57-first place votes and 421 points.

Appearing in all 82 games -- five starts -- for the Bulls for just the second time in his five-year career, Gibson enjoyed a breakout offensive season averaging a career-high 13.0 points to go along with 6.8 rebounds, 1.4 blocks in a career-high 28.7 minutes per game.

Crawford, who won the award in 2010 with the Atlanta Hawks, came off the bench in 45 of his 69 games and led all reserves with 18.6 points per game in 30.3 minutes.

The Bulls' D.J. Augustin received two second-place votes to finish seventh.

The tone of the Gibson's season was set last offseason as he spent most of his summer working out with Derrick Rose in Los Angeles and testing his repertoire in pickup games with other NBA players at 360 Health Club in Reseda, Calif. Some of the names included Paul George, Danny Granger, John Wall and Reggie Jackson.

The work on his game was showcased in the Bulls first preseason game in Indiana.

The focus was undoubtedly on Rose, who was returning to action after having missed all of the 2012-13 season. While Rose showed flashes of his MVP award-winning form, it was Gibson's 18 points on nine for 12 shooting, 12 rebounds and three blocks in 31 minutes that helped lead the team to an 82-76 win.