When the Portland Trail Blazers took to the floor against the Philadelphia 76ers last Thursday, there was no recognized point guard to be seen. Little did we know, Rodney Hood was actually tasked with running the offense for that game.
Needless to say, it went pretty well. With Hood at the helm, the undermanned Blazers toppled the top-of-the-east Sixers. Hood posted 16 points, five rebounds, and three assists in the victory.
The 28-year-old wing told Jamie Hudson of NBC Sports Northwest that after easing his way back into on-court action via a minutes restriction in December and January, he was back in the swing of things.
“I’ve been feeling good,” Hood added. “Playing a lot of minutes, but our team needs that right now. We down some people. Every game it feels like somebody goes down. Just next man up, and just got to get my rest and my body will react as we go along.”
“There’s got to be other guys holding each other accountable and we’ve been doing that. We’ve got a great group of guys that want to learn and want to get things right. But it’s going to take everybody.”
Coach Terry Stotts said Hood’s comfort on and off the court was the most important thing, admiring his growth since the Blazers’ opening bout against the Jazz on December 23.
“I think there was some uncertainty at the beginning of the season. I think he’s really kind of embraced what’s going on right now.”
“I was really pleased with how he played the game, how directed the offense,” Stotts said. “He was more vocal. I think that’s part of the circumstances of the [76ers game], but also I think it’s just he’s kind of evolved into that situation since he’s been here for a while.”
Through 19 games this season, Hood is averaging 5.1 points and 19.2 minutes per game. Hood and the Blazers host the Orlando Magic at the Moda Center tomorrow.
You can read the full story from Hudson at NBC Sports Northwest.