The Cleveland Cavaliers rolled past the Toronto Raptors in dominant fashion and the team, led by LeBron James, is considered to be the favorite to reach the NBA Finals, regardless of which team meets them in the Eastern Conference Finals. However, one player is seemingly not thrilled with his place in the overall hierarchy and things reportedly came to a head during the fourth quarter of Game 4 against Toronto.
Lloyd also reports that the issue took place at the 7:38 mark of the fourth quarter (with the Cavs leading by 30 points) and “a number of veterans huddled around him during the timeout and tried talking sense into him” after his initial decision to balk. Full context can be found within above report (subscription only) but members of the organization were reportedly quite bothered by the decision, including an executive that reportedly indicated Hood “is not built for this.”
Since arriving in Cleveland, Hood has struggled in a reduced role and things seemingly came to a head when he was usurped in the Game 4 rotation by Cedi Osman. In 10 playoff games, Hood is averaging only 4.6 points per game (on 39.6 percent from the floor and a dismal 13.3 percent from three-point range) and, perhaps more importantly, has seen the floor for only 17.0 minutes per game before completely falling out of the mix in the clincher against Toronto.
The decision to remove him from the rotation in this spot appears to be performance-based and, frankly, it would be difficult to argue against it given the way Hood has performed. Still, he was acquired as a very intriguing piece on the wing after some encouraging moments in Utah and, as his restricted free agency approaches, Hood’s time in Cleveland certainly seems to be running out on the heels of this news.