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Rodney Hood didn’t feel ‘involved enough’ in Cleveland’s offense

Rodney Hood

On Friday, Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Rodney Hood turned heads with his 25-point outburst against the Philadelphia 76ers and their talented defensive group. Hood’s point total was a team-high, as he went 10-20 from the field and 5-7 from three-point range, balancing his distribution evenly across the halves.

Speaking to reporters after the Cavaliers relatively decisive victory over the Sixers, Hood would compare his efforts against Philadelphia to his play from the rest of the season. According to Hood, prior to Friday’s game he didn’t feel “involved enough” in the team’s offense.

That would make sense as, despite his scoring talents, Hood has only scored 20 or more points three times this season, the same number of times that he’s scored fewer than 10 points. In the three games that preceded Friday’s win, Hood only averaged 10.3 points per game.

Per cleveland.com‘s Joe Noga:

“I felt that I wasn’t involved enough,” Hood said. “This game, I wanted to come out guns-blazing. Obviously come in with a defensive mindset, but when I caught the ball just be aggressive. I think we’re a better team when I do that. Because I can also make plays when I’ve got it going.”

Hood’s performance didn’t surprise Cavs head coach Larry Drew, who says that Hood “can go get it with the best of them.” Drew, like Hood, just prefers when the fifth-year guard is playing aggressively.

“Rodney can go get it with the best of them,” Drew said. “He’s one of those guys that can elevate over you and shoot it. He can make the three. He can go off the dribble. I like when he’s in that aggressive mode and when he’s attacking the basket.”

Whether it’s because of his forgettable performance in 2018 Eastern Conference Playoffs or because his shot-selection doesn’t seem to fit into the NBA’s new era, Hood is one of the team’s most unheralded players.

Hood, however, is averaging 13.4 points and 2.1 assists in 27.9 minutes per game while shooting 44.4 percent from the field, 43.8 percent from three-point range and 92.7 percent from the charity stripe. Furthermore, with Kevin Love out, Hood holds the third-highest scoring average on the team.

He’s one of the team’s ancillary, rather than auxiliary, components to their success and while his primary issue has been his tendency to be passive there’s another obstacle to his success that may be out of his control. In truth, what often holds him back from scoring at a high-clip is Drew’s tendency to have Hood play less than 30 minutes per game.

Hood is averaging 17.8 points per game when he plays at least 30 minutes per game (4 games).

*All stats gathered from Basketball Reference

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