It’s time to welcome Rodney Hood officially to the hall of Cleveland Cavaliers weirdness. Hood has been a disaster for the Cavs in the playoffs and as a result, has mostly fallen out of the rotation. With Game 4 in hand, Tyronn Lue called on him to play in garbage time. However, Hood was content to sit on the bench and declined his request even after multiple teammates tried to talk to him into it.
According to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman intends to meet with Hood to discuss the situation. Depending on his response, it’s possible that Hood will face a suspension from the team.
On the one hand, it’s easy to see why Hood may have some frustration. He was well on his way to a payday in Utah, averaging 16.8 points per game. While he’s had positive stretches for the Cavs, his inconsistent play has resulted in a reduced role as the team can’t afford to experiment with so much at stake.
In theory Hood should be able to initiate offense with the second unit and knock down open jumpers. The failure to do so is likely due to a combination of failures. Both in the team for not developing a system with the bench, and his mistakes that have made it tough to give him minutes with any confidence.
The injuries to Hood and other players down the stretch this season really hurt the Cavs ability to carve out defined roles for everyone on the team. The guys that are playing well at the moment are the ones with experience and a natural sense of how to play off of an engaged LeBron James.
This will be an important test for Koby Altman. How he manages this situation could help salvage an important talent on a team that is thin in that department. While the Cavs likely won’t need Hood for the Conference Finals, they will need every gun blazing in the NBA Finals if they’re gonna have a chance.