The Utah Jazz are forming together something formidable here. With health, youth, veteran leadership, and cohesion the fans are expecting some really big things this year. A 50 win season? Possible. The playoffs? Yes. A division title? We must! Playing more than “just” four games in the playoffs (I see you Tyrone Corbin)? That’s the destiny of this 2016-2017 team for sure.
One of the greatest aces up the sleeve for Quin Snyder’s club is Duke sharpshooter Rodney Hood. Hood is a smart, cerebral player who is thinking two steps ahead of the defense. He’s also a small town boy with a pure heart. It’s hard not to root for this guy. I know that I do! What really makes Hood valuable is his flame-throwing. I don’t think anyone on the team can get as hot as he can, and sustain it for as long as he can. Hood is streaky, but when he’s streaky good the Utah Jazz are elevated to that of a real Final Four contender.
For the season Hood is performing at a kind of ‘ho-hum’ level.
- 28.99 MPG +/- 6.98 STDEV
- 13.64 PPG +/- 6.92 STDEV
- 12.27 FGA +/- 3.53 STDEV
- 5.45 3PTA +/- 2.18 STDEV
- 2.24 FTA +/- 2.09 STDEV
- 40.99 FG% +/- 15.95% STDEV
- 34.44 3PT% +/- 24.77% STDEV
- 75.68 FT% +/- 32.15% STDEV
- 53.41 TS% +/- 21.82% STDEV
- 78.64 eFG% +/- 20.79% STDEV
- 1.11 PPS +/- 0.46 STDEV
- 2.35 MPS +/- 0.55 STDEV
When you round it up it’s 14 points per game off of 12 shots, while going for fewer than 35% from deep. That’s not what you want from your shooting specialist. (But I guess Joe Ingles is taking that mantle off the bench, kind of what Kyle Korver was for Jerry Sloan.) But for all of his box score work, 68.29% of all of the box score stats Hood produces comes from points alone.
And I guess that’s the deal. He’s streaky and he’s had a really hot streak to start the season, and a cool streak right now. And the average of such isn’t that great. His defense doesn’t look like it has improved, but he has put in a little bit more work on the glass this season. But like all young players who are offense first, they have to find ways to stay in the game even if their shot isn’t falling. Right now the Jazz have some depth, and there are available guys to fill in for Rodney if he’s not hot right now (Ingles, Shelvin Mack, Alec Burks, Joe Johnson, and so forth).
But I think we’d all want Hood to be hot more than not.
(Season average - First 10 games he played ‘16-17 - Last 10 games he played ‘16-17)
So the Jazz really got a lot of benefit at the beginning of the season from Hood. Hood stepped up bigtime when there were so many injuries to Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward, and others. The last 10 games? He hasn’t really been as effective. In some cases the standard deviation of a particular stat will be larger than the actual average of that stat — which shows quite a bit of volatility for sure.
The silver lining? In the games where he hasn’t been shooting well (e.g. The Last 10 games) he is doing more on the court to somewhat make up for his shooting woes (Points % as a product of total PRASB is only 64%) — but it’s still not like he’s finding ENOUGH ways to contribute. But he’s making an effort.
But the consistent thing is that Hood is just not making shots anywhere, even his FT% is down. So it’s a shooting slump, not some inconsistent making block. However, being consistently inconsistent means you can’t really game plan for him on a game by game basis. And that could be a problem in the NBA Playoffs — if you are expecting 15 ppg on okay shooting and finish with 8 on bad shooting. Yikes.
But whatever it is, it could be worse. We still could be starting Mack . . .
. . . of course, the GREAT news is that Hood will bounce back. And he will be setting the other team on fire. And on those nights a healthy Utah Jazz team is nearly unstoppable.