Pau Gasol missed Chicago’s Game 4 loss to the Cavaliers with a hamstring injury, and his status remains in doubt for Tuesday night’s pivotal Game 5 contest.
Thibodeau said Gasol is gametime decision, feels a little better. Would have to do shootaround and warm up without incident.
Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago doesn’t seem optimistic about Gasol’s chances.
Gasol isn’t moving up and down the floor right now like a guy who is going to be able to play tonight. pic.twitter.com/UNoYxydojo
— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) May 12, 2015
Gasol was big in the Bulls’ Game 1 victory, as Cleveland’s defensive coverage dictated doubling the ball-handler on screen-and-rolls, which left Gasol open for midrange jumpers time and again. He finished with 21 points, though was far less effective in Game 2, specifically on the defensive end of the floor.
There have been rumblings that Chicago is better-equipped to deal with the Cavaliers from an overall matchup standpoint with Gasol out of action, but I’m not sure that’s the case. The Bulls need what Gasol brings offensively, as evidenced by the two huge scoring droughts that Chicago experienced which let the Cavaliers back into Game 4 after a substantial lead was in place.
If Gasol can’t go, we’ll once again see plenty of Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic. But after a highly-productive Game 3, the pair combined to shoot just 3-of-16 from the field in Chicago’s Game 4 loss.