Stat Line: 24 points (8-16 from the field, 4-5 for three), 3 assists, 1 rebound, 0 steals, and 0 rebounds in 27:47 (+5).
To start this off, let’s go back to a quote from Gil yesterday:
“I’m an assassin. I get buckets. I haven’t played in a long time, but my shot is still there. When I come off the bench, there’s going to be some trouble.”
In his first stint off the bench, I’d say Gilbert was playing more like a sniper, and an accurate one at that, hitting long distance shots like this one:
In the second half, he cooled off quite a bit. It would’ve been nearly impossible to replicate his first half barrage, but it was clear that he tailed off near the end of the game. Trainers recently cleared him to play up to 30 minutes a game, but there’s a noted difference between being healthy enough to play 30 minutes a game, and being able to play 30 minutes effectively. You could see the same thing happening when he was being held to 25 minutes. In his first game back, he stared off great but he slowed down considerably by the end of the game. Then by his fourth game back against Philly, he was finishing stronger than he started in his 25 minutes.
Today was just another step in the recovery process. As each day comes he’s getting better and better. With his strong start we saw that he was capable of doing much of what we remember of the pre-injury Gil, as he continues to work his way back we’ll see more of what we remember most about him most–his strong finishes.