With the Cleveland Cavaliers facing a 2-0 series deficit, head coach Tyronn Lue is expected to make a few lineup changes. The main change will include Rodney Hood, who has essentially been out of the Cavs’ rotation for long stretches of their 2018 playoff run.
In an attempt to get more out of his bench, Lue could give Hood extra minutes in place of guard Jordan Clarkson. Both Hood and Clarkson were acquired prior to the February trade deadline. Clarkson has struggled mightily, specifically in the NBA Finals.
Hood, meanwhile, offers the ideal size for switching out on Golden State’s perimeter shooters. At 6-foot-8, the versatile wing could guard anyone from Stephen Curry to Draymond Green, depending on the defensive switch.
Hood averaged 14.7 PPG during the regular season, which he split between the Utah Jazz and Cleveland. A 38.1% shooter from three-point range during the regular season, Hood has shot just 15% throughout the playoffs. Hood opened the playoffs as a starter, but that role quickly disappeared in favor of other bench options.
"We're going to give Rodney a chance," Lue told reporters. ”He'll get a shot, and see how he does. He's been working, staying ready. So we'll see.”
Hood has failed to register any playing time in six of the Cavs’ last 10 contests.
According to Hood, he has prepared for this moment.
“My teammates have been real positive with me, just telling me to stay ready," Hood said. "The coaching staff as well. Other guys around the league been talking to me, sending me messages and just telling me to stay ready, and if my number is called just play and have fun, don't put too much pressure on myself.”
According to Lue, Hood’s main responsibilities will come on the defensive end. Offensively, he should be the recipient of open looks as the Warriors’ defense tries to limit LeBron James.
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