If the Bulls are going to take an improbable 3-1 lead against the Cleveland Cavaliers, they’ll have to do so without their most dependable big man, Pau Gasol.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau announced Gasol’s sore left hamstring will keep him out of Game 4 at the United Center, and that he didn’t do any real activity prior to Game 4.

“He’s still sore,” the usual tight-lipped Thibodeau said. “We’ve dealt with injuries before. Next guy get in there and get the job done. We have guys who are more than capable.”

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Gasol strained his left hamstring early in Game 3, tried to play in the third quarter before pulling himself and being ruled out.

“It started some play but I can’t remember when it was,” Gasol said. “It just tightened up on me, got really sore. That’s it, not much more I can say.”

“First quarter, early in the first quarter. Thought it was gonna loosen up, thought I could push through it but the more I pushed through it the worse it got. It is what it is.”

Thibodeau wouldn’t reveal who would start in Gasol’s place but one would have to guess it would be Taj Gibson because of his ability to keep Cavaliers power forward Tristan Thompson’s offensive rebounds to a limit. Nikola Mirotic could get the nod but he would be overmatched and a candidate for early foul trouble, which the Bulls need to avoid because they need to replace Gasol’s offensive production.