Wednesday evening’s 96-81 win over Detroit at the United Center was just another ho-hum preseason game for Taj Gibson who had 11 points and 12 rebounds in the Bulls’ win over the Pistons.

While Derrick Rose’s Chicago homecoming was the theme of the night Gibson’s consistently stellar play has been a constant throughout the team’s undefeated exhibition campaign. Now in his fifth NBA season Gibson’s high-energy presence on the team’s second unit during Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau’s tenure — he assumed a starting role during his rookie season Vinny Del Negro’s final year as head coach taking Tyrus Thomas’ spot before the former lottery pick was traded to Charlotte — in its many forms has been something the squad has been able to count on but now as a veteran and fully healthy after last year’s injury-plagued season the Brooklyn native has found a comfort zone.

“I feel comfortable. Every year it’s been tough because we’ve always got a new group and fortunately I’m one of the last standing from previous groups and every year I’m just trying to figure out timing” he explained. “Luckily I’ve got Kirk I’ve got Naz. I know where they want the ball where they want to get it. It’s just about figuring out the rooks figuring out Marquis. That’s the only thing but so far it’s been cool.”

Gibson was a major part of the “Bench Mob” which earned a cult following during its two-year reign and he admittedly struggled when the likes of Omer Asik Ronnie Brewer Kyle Korver and C.J. Watson departed. Although injuries were partially responsible for an uneven season — trying to live up to expectations of a new contract extension didn’t help matters — with Mohammed and Hinrich a starter last season back and an experienced veteran like Mike Dunleavy Jr. in the fold despite losing valuable contributors like guards Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli to free agency (and Jimmy Butler to a permanent starting role) Gibson believes the Bulls’ group of reserves has a lot of potential.

“I think we could be real dangerous” he said. “You’ve got Kirk Hinrich coming off the bench and he’s so crafty so smart. As soon as I got in the game I got two easy quick jump shots just off him being smart and moving the ball. He’s looking for me which is great.”

Most of all though it’s Gibson’s offseason preparation combined with his strong relationship with Thibodeau that’s allowed him to hit the ground running.