The Utah Jazz Continue To Struggle Without Rodney Hood

Rodney Hood is still on the shelf after suffering an LCL sprain and the Utah Jazz are finding it very hard to win games in his absence.

Going by the stat sheet, many would say Utah Jazz wing Rodney Hood has underachieved this season. Some have even wondered whether Joe Ingles might be a better fit with the starting five.

On top of that, there’s been speculation about Hood being on the trade block because of his inconsistency; something that puts the Jazz at a disadvantage on some nights.

Sadly, all of these things may be true, but Utah’s win-loss record tells us just how important Rodney Hood is. Without Hood in the lineup, the Jazz are a mediocre 7-8. Meanwhile, when Hood does play, the Jazz are a stunning 27-13; good enough for fifth best in the NBA percentage wise.

Hood has struggled all year to stay healthy. It’s not like Gordon Hayward, who had one specific injury that kept him out of six games to start the season and only missed one since, or Boris Diaw, who missed eight straight games and just one since.

Hood has had a myriad of different injuries that have all kept him out for more than a few days.

Not only does it shatter one’s confidence to know he could have another injury every time he comes out on the court, it makes it impossible to find a rhythm and ultimately play your best when you’re out for two weeks at a time. Per Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune, Hood will not return until at least February 24th; missing two key games prior to the All-Star break.

Dec 16, 2016; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz guard Rodney Hood (5) controls the ball during the first quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 16, 2016; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz guard Rodney Hood (5) controls the ball during the first quarter against the Dallas Mavericks at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

This season, Hood is averaging 13.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists. However, it’s hard to get an accurate read of his real stats because he has played in four games where he was on the court for less than 15 minutes.

Per 36 minutes, his numbers actually look slightly better than last season. Still, looking at his Per 36 minutes stats, he has seen no major uptake in anything. This could be the byproduct of him missing so much time and needing to find a rhythm.

Looking deeper into his stats, you can’t tell much of a difference with his aggressiveness on his shot chart, which means that the prospect of suffering another injury isn’t playing on his mind. The only one of Hood’s stats that is concerning this season is his three-point percentage by court position.

He shoots the three with deadly accuracy from the corner and believe me when I tell you that these aren’t always open shots. The corner three is going down at 43 percent. The downside to this is that he is shooting just 37 percent from all of three-point land. Meaning that he has only shot 33 percent from that range outside of the corners (an estimation based on other shooting percentages, not an actual stat itself).

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With all of this taken into account, a healthy Rodney Hood can not come soon enough. The Jazz have a losing record without him and have a dominant record with him. And let’s not forget that Gordon Hayward and George Hill have a 19-5 record when they play together. So a healthy Jazz team is a great Jazz team, but it starts with getting Hood back on the floor.

For now, the Jazz have to forget about the loss of Hood and focus on ending their losing streak at two because one of the most important games of the season is coming up. The Jazz play the LA Clippers on Monday night in a game that could ultimately decide home-court advantage in the playoffs.

Statistics courtesy of ESPN and Basketball Reference.

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