Rodney Hood may sat for all but crunch time of Game 1 against the Warriors, but that doesn’t mean he’s completely out of the Cavaliers’ plans.
On Friday, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said that Hood will get a chance to make an impact on the series. So far, Hood has played in 14 of the Cavaliers’ 19 playoff games, averaging 14.5 minutes. He, however, has effectively been out of the rotation since the beginning of the Eastern Conference Finals.
“Rodney has been working hard,” Lue said. “He had opportunities in the first round. He’s been working to play, and he’s going to get opportunities. Just because he didn’t play last night or that much in the Boston series, I’ve always talked to him about being ready, staying ready, because he is a great talent and we’re going to need him. He’s going to get a chance and an opportunity.”
Lue also said that the transition from the Jazz to the Cavaliers, and all that came with it, has been a difficult transition for Hood.
“I think coming from a situation in Utah he was accustomed to, and then coming to a situation after midseason to a team that had championship aspirations, he didn’t really get a chance to have a full year and a full training camp,” he said. “But he’s been great. He did great throughout the course of the regular season, and the playoffs have been just a little different for him.”
“So we have confidence in him. He has to have more confidence in himself. And he’s going to be a big part of what we’re trying to do. So he’s not X’d out right now.”
If Hood were to get a chance in the series, he would, in theory, give the Cavs a bit more length on the wing, some ball handling and three-point shooting — all things Cleveland needs. There’s also an argument to be made that the Cavs would be better off having Hood playing Jordan Clarkson’s minutes.
But, to date, the idea of Hood has been better than the reality. In the playoffs, Hood is averaging 4.6 points while shooting 41.5 percent from the field and 15.8 percent on three-pointers. If he does get the chance Lue says he’ll get, he’ll need to be better than that in order to stay on the floor.