CLEVELAND – Rodney Hood’s playoff problems now extend to off the court.
Hood, who has seen his role reduced during his first postseason with Cleveland, will not be fined or suspended for refusing to enter Monday night’s Game 4 blowout win over the Toronto Raptors in the fourth quarter, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.
Hood feels bad about the incident that happened with 7:38 left in the fourth quarter, and he expressed remorse on Tuesday to team officials about becoming a distraction, said the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
The person said disciplinary actions against Hood “were never a consideration.”
The Athletic first reported that Hood had angered teammates and others in the organization by rejecting coach Tyronn Lue’s instruction to enter the game.
With Cleveland leading 110-80 and on its way to sweeping the series, the Cavs called timeout to replace superstar LeBron James. Lue told Hood to check in but he refused, and guard Jose Calderon peeled off his warmup and jogged to the scorer’s table. The AP observed at least one assistant coach shouting toward Hood.
Earlier in the game, rookie Cedi Osman came in with the second unit and played the minutes that had been going to Hood in Lue’s rotation.
The 25-year-old Hood is averaging 4.6 points in 17 minutes in the postseason. His playing time dropped in the second round – he began the playoffs against Indiana in the starting lineup – as he struggled with his shot and looked uncomfortable on the floor.
Hood scored just 2 points on 1-of-9 shooting in three appearances against the Raptors.
The Cavaliers acquired Hood at the Feb. 8 trade deadline from Utah. A first-round pick in the 2014 draft, he averaged 16.8 points with the Jazz, but the 6-foot-8 left-hander has never found his rhythm with Cleveland, which is back in the Eastern Conference finals for the fourth straight season.
Lue said he spoke with Hood at Sunday’s practice and that he understood his role.
“It’s been tough circumstances as far as the first round and playing now and getting spot minutes more than anything,” Lue said. “He could be better, he knows that. Just need him to be aggressive.”
Hood started Game 1 against Indiana, but after the Pacers beat the Cavs by 18, Lue changed his lineup. He swapped Hood with Kyle Korver and Cleveland regrouped, going 8-2 since the change.
Hood will be a restricted free agent this summer.
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