The Cavaliers season has been defined by drama, from Kyrie Irving’s trade request in the offseason through getting taken to the brink in a seven-game series by the Pacers. However, the second round series with the Raptors saw the Cavs face almost no real adversity or apparent internal issues for the first time really all season.
The four-game sweep of Toronto had a familiar feel from years past and featured not only monster performances from LeBron James, but the best efforts from Kevin Love, Kyle Korver, J.R. Smith, and other role players in recent memory. However, even in a dominating Game 4 blowout of the Raptors, the Cavs couldn’t fully escape without some minor controversy.
It was reported after Game 4 that Rodney Hood, who fell out of the rotation, refused to check in for the Cavs in garbage time. It was later reported Hood wouldn’t be disciplined for his decision not to play, which seemed curious, but after Hood addressed the issue with the media on Thursday, it became apparent it wasn’t as big of a deal as it initially seemed.
“It was the end of the game, seven minutes to go, and I thought we had bodies,” Hood said. “Jose [Calderon] wanted to go in. I told ’em, just let Jose play, but I should’ve just went in. … I should’ve known, cause I didn’t play throughout the duration of the game, it was going to look bad. But it wasn’t as people were trying to make it. Next time I’m definitely going to go in. I apologize to T Lue for any confusion and stuff like that.”
That’s at the least a much better story than Hood refusing to go in due to frustration with minutes, and taking things at face value here, it’s understandable why there wouldn’t be any discipline towards Hood moving forward. His teammates also seem ready to move on as Kevin Love explained the team laughed it off after Hood explained the situation to the team.
Cleveland has much bigger fish to fry with their impending Eastern Conference Finals showdown against the Celtics looming on Sunday, so they’ll hope this is the end of any conversation about this apparently minor issue.