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The Cleveland Cavaliers’ mantra for the 2017-18 playoffs has been, “Whatever it Takes.”
Down 2-0 in the NBA Finals to defending champion Golden State, for Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue, that apparently means dusting off Rodney Hood.
With his wing players not named LeBron James struggling against the Warriors’ switch-everything defense, Lue said he plans on playing Hood in Game 3 on Wednesday night at Quicken Loans Arena (9, ABC).
“We’re gonna give Rodney a chance, see how he does,” Lue said at his press conference after practice Tuesday. “We’ll see.”
Asked in a followup if that meant in Game 3, he replied, “yes.”
In six career games against Golden State, Hood has averaged 15.3 points per game.
Since refusing to enter Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Toronto Raptors during garbage time, Hood’s minutes have dwindled.
He played 19 minutes of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Boston, Hood has not played a meaningful minute since.
In the playoffs, Hood is averaging 4.4 points, shooting 41.8 percent from the field, including 15.0 percent from the 3-point arc.
The 6-foot-8 swingman, acquired from the Utah Jazz at the trade deadline as part of a three-team team also involving the Sacramento Kings, the 25-year-old Hood played in 11 playoff games with Utah last season.
The lanky left-hander is a restricted free agent after this season.