On the brink of elimination to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Chicago Bulls may be welcoming power forward Pau Gasol back to the lineup in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, according to the Chicago Tribune.

 

Gasol’s missed the last two games and the Bulls have lost both to now trail the Cavs 3-2 in the best-of-seven series before Thursday night’s matchup at the United Center.

With the patchwork frontline of forwards Taj Gibson and Mike Dunleavy, and center Joakim Noah, the Bulls have lacked the scoring presence inside that Gasol provided throughout the regular season and in the playoffs until he went down in Game 3 of the series.

The 34-year-old put up a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds in a Game 1 victory, and but slowed down significantly in Game 2 with only 11 points and four boards. Eventually he scored only six points in 22 minutes in Game 3.

The return couldn't come at a better time for the Bulls. Gasol is certainly capable of clogging up the middle against Cleveland’s high-scoring tandem of forward LeBron James and point guard Kyrie Irving. James went off in Game 5 Tuesday night with 38 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, three steals, and three blocks in a dominating performance. Irving also tossed in 25 points and five assists, while Gasol watched the Bulls lose 106-101 from the bench in street clothes.

As one of the best passing big men in the game, Gasol can not only draw in defenses with his threatening post moves, but also dish to the slashing perimeter players Derrick Rose or Jimmy Butler for easy buckets.

During these playoffs, Gasol’s averaged 15.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists over nine games.