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Bulls’ Pau Gasol officially out for Game 5

Bulls Cavaliers Basketball

Chicago Bulls forward Pau Gasol , left, watches play from the bench late during the second half of Game 2 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series Wednesday, May 6, 2015, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won 106-91. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

AP

As it has been for a couple games, the interior offense that Pau Gasol provides will be absent from the Chicago Bulls lineup.

His hamstring strain remains an issue that will keep him on the bench. This is not a surprise after he barely took part in shootaround, but coach Tom Thibodeau made it official pregame. From Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com.

This is not all bad for the Bulls — when Gasol was on the court this series the Bulls defense was -9.7 points per 100 possessions. He’s not a good matchup much of the time against the Cavaliers, but Thibodeau leaned on him.

If the Bulls play more Nikola Mirotic — particularly paired with Taj Gibson — they will be better off.

Gasol reportedly is improving and could be back before this series ends.