Blazers’ Rodney Hood predicted he would end Nuggets in 4OT showdown in Game 3
Hood averaged 14.5 points and started in all 79 games he played in during the 2015-16 season. By his fourth season, Hood was averaging 16.8 points for the Jazz off the bench, and showing a knack for knocking down clutch jumpers at the end of games.
With the Cleveland Cavaliers desperately needing to add pieces for the second half and still chasing another ring with LeBron James, Cavs general manager Koby Altman pulled the trigger on a deal that brought Hood to Cleveland.
But Hood struggled to get accustomed in Cleveland, particularly in the playoffs. Hood played just 15.3 minutes per game during the 2018 playoffs, averaging just 5.4 points in the process. He was criticized down the stretch for seemingly failing to live up to the hype that he seemed to promise when he arrived, and the Cavs shipped Hood to the Trail Blazers in February.
In a much more defined bench role, Hood’s field goal percentage actually improved in Portland, and he averaged close to 10 points per game in just under 25 minutes per contest.
Hood turned back the clock in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Denver Nuggets, scoring 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including seven in the fourth overtime in a thrilling Portland victory. The 26-year-old also hit the game-winning 2-pointer with under 20 seconds remaining, saying he was determined to close out the Nuggets:
— 102.9/750 The Game (@1029TheGame) May 4, 2019
In a series that has largely been defined by the play of the starting fives for both sides, Hood’s scoring off the bench could prove invaluable as the Trail Blazers attempt to capitalize on a 2-1 series advantage.