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Cleveland Will Turn To Rodney Hood In Game Three

Former Blue Devil could be a key for a Cleveland rally

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2018 NBA Finals - Game Two
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 03: Rodney Hood #1 of the Cleveland Cavaliers dunks against the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 3, 2018 in Oakland, California. 
Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

One of the real disappointments for Cleveland in the postseason has been the supporting cast. Obviously LeBron James is on an epic run and playing the game on as high a level as anyone has ever played it. The rest of the guys? Not so much.

Kevin Love has been solid during the finals but everyone else has been up and down. The final play of regulation in Game 1, where JR Smith didn't realize that the game was tied and failed to get a shot off, was devastating. If you didn’t see it yet, here’s the video of the Cavaliers after the buzzer. This is a seriously unhappy bunch of guys and it’s hard not to feel sorry for Smith, who can barely bring himself to look anyone else in the eye.

Golden State is a weird team to defend. The Warriors start a 6-7 guard in Klay Thompson and 6-6 Draymond Green ends up playing center a fair amount. Kevin Durant is listed at 6-9 but plays taller. Nonetheless he hangs on the perimeter a lot. Stephen Curry is a surreal shooter, as he demonstrated brilliantly in Game 2.

Defending this team is made even more difficult because so many guys can hit threes and that leaves the middle open - and almost everyone is a good passer, not least of all Green.

So it looks like this is a real opportunity for former Duke star Rodney Hood to step up. It’d be nice if he has a big offensive game but might be even better if he plays great defense. He’s certainly capable and depending on who’s on the floor for Golden State, he can arguably defend anyone.

With the Cavs at home, Hood could conceivably help to redefine the series for Cleveland. His post-season has been awful but this is a chance for him to claim a new and much bigger role.

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