In the second postseason of his career, Rodney Hood has done very little to speak of. So far the Cavs’ trade deadline pickup has coughed up 4.6 points a game on 40-percent shooting from the floor and just 13-percent shooting from the arc, making him an especially useless cog in a LeBron Plus Shooters offense. By yesterday’s Game 4 he had been effectively removed from the rotation in favor of rookie Cedi Osman. Late in the game, with the series win over the Raptors more than secure, coach Tyronn Lue tried to instill some confidence in Hood, but Hood wasn’t having it. The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd reports:
When the Cavs called a timeout with a 30-point lead and 7:38 left Monday, Lue tried inserting Hood for James. It was a great opportunity for a struggling youngster to try to find his rhythm without any pressure before the next series. Instead, Hood refused to go in, multiple sources confirmed. A number of veterans huddled around him during the timeout and tried talking sense into him, but Hood still refused to go, so Jose Calderon subbed into the game instead. Hood dressed quickly and was one of the first players out of the locker room after the game.
The report also notes that the fellow Cavs were unhappy with Hood’s refusal to play, that GM Koby Altman intends to meet with him soon, and that a suspension could lie in Hood’s near future. There’s always been an undercurrent of criticism of Rodney Hood’s “mild-mannered” nature or lack of aggression. Now that he’s one of many Cavs riding LeBron James into the conference finals and a bigger spotlight, that might finally be playing out in a more public manner. Per Lloyd:
When these playoffs began, an opposing executive texted me “(Hood) is not built for this,” meaning the postseason. Now we’re seeing why.