Rodney Hood should be used as pick-and-roll ballhandler for Cavaliers

Rodney Hood should be used as pick-and-roll ballhandler for Cavaliers

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Rodney Hood should be used as pick-and-roll ballhandler for Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Rodney Hood from the Utah Jazz before the 2018 NBA trade deadline. He brings a diverse skill set to the team.

Hood was an above average spot-up shooter and scorer off screens with the Jazz prior to the trade. He was also effective on handoffs and in a one-on-one situations on offense. His efficiency in a transition offense was also remarkable.

He has excelled albeit in a limited sample size in transition since his trade to the Cavaliers. The wing is shooting 7-for-11 (63.6 percent) on this play type for Cleveland. Hood has been very efficient (1.21 points per possession) as a spot-up scorer with his new squad, all per Synergy Sports.

But his biggest asset that he brought to Utah was his ability to score as a ballhandler on pick-and-roll plays. With the Jazz, he ranked in the 81st percentile on this play type — slightly better than where he finished in both of his most recent two seasons.

He will need to be utilized for his ability as a pick-and-roll ballhandler because the Cavs traded away guards Isaiah Thomas and Dwyane Wade earlier this month. The two players combined for nearly one-third of their possessions on this play type.

In a profile on the 25-year-old, basketball analyst Ben Golliver wrote about his ability in the PnR (via Sports Illustrated):

“Hood’s pick-and-roll game is appealing too: he recognizes advantageous situations when they arise, he’s incredibly patient as he goes through his progressions, he strikes a nice balance between looking for his own jumpers and trying to feed others, and he has a slithery ability when he does decide to go to the rim.”

The Cavaliers run pick-and-roll plays through the ballhandler less often (14.0 percent frequency) than all but one team in the Eastern Conference. But their efficiency (0.88 PPP) ranks Top 5 in the East.

Hood can step up to help Cleveland as his efficiency (0.94 PPP) ranks Top 20 among those with at least 100 possessions, per Synergy Sports. He’s had just six possessions on this play type during his first five games with his new team.

Chris Fedor wrote about why things have been so different for him with the new team (via Cleveland.com):

“He’s trying to get accustomed to a new role, seeing his usage drop to the lowest percentage of his career (16.8) since being acquired from Utah. He is also being used much more frequently in catch-and-shoot situations, rather than having the ball in his hands, where he was much more comfortable. His overall shot attempts have been cut by five per game as well.”

In the report, head coach Ty Lue said that he wanted Hood to get more touches moving forward. Expect him to get settled in and perhaps earn playing time in the first unit.

If he and teammate LeBron James can play well in pick-and-roll, it’ll be a remarkable weapon for the Cavaliers.

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