Although the Cavaliers swept the Raptors in a blowout on Monday night, at least one player has qualms. Rodney Hood, who was acquired at the trade deadline by the Cavaliers, has been struggling all postseason. His issues eventually resulted in Cavs coach Tyronn Lue taking Hood out of the Cavaliers' rotation for rookie Cedi Osman.
Then, late in Game 4 after the Cavs had built up an insurmountable lead over the Raptors, Lue tried to get Hood in the game, The Athletic's Jason Lloyd reports. But Hood refused, and Jose Calderon was subbed in instead. The moment came with the Cavaliers up 30 and 7:38 left. After a Lue timeout, he gave Hood the nod to get LeBron James off the floor. When Hood refused, veterans tried to get him to go in. When that didn't work, Calderon entered the game.
Hood met with Cavaliers GM Koby Altman on Tuesday to explain himself. Although Hood's ongoing back stiffness wasn't the reason for his refusal, the meeting reportedly did not result in any suspension or fine for Hood, per The Athletic. With that being said, this situation likely doesn't help Hood's odds of getting his minutes back. Per ESPN, Hood also apologized to Altman in the meeting.
There's really no shying away from the fact that Hood has been outright bad in this postseason. He's averaging 4.6 points on just under 40 percent shooting. His minutes against the Raptors were already down from the first series. His benching came after two straight games where he went 0 for 2 in about 10 minutes on the floor. Lue had already showed signs his trust in Hood was shaken before this series, effectively benching him in Game 7 against the Pacers, where he played just seven minutes, his fewest in the series.
The real issue comes from the fact that Hood, 25, is going to be a restricted free agent. His temper has gotten away from him before, like when he was fined for knocking a fan's phone out of his hand when he was with the Jazz. But that's a petty grievance in the heat of the moment. To Hood right now, meaningless minutes are valuable minutes, and him passing those minutes up is a missed opportunity and a subversion of the team. A player playing like Hood is in no position to do that. If he had done well in those minutes, he could have even gotten his spot back in the rotation. Osman hardly lit it up, scoring five points in 20 minutes.
The Cavaliers will have some time to make a decision on their rotation before the next series, with the 76ers forcing a Game 5 against the Celtics with a victory Monday.