At halftime of Game 2, it looked like the Cleveland Cavaliers were going to steal a game on the road and take back home court advantage in the Eastern Conference Final. They were up by seven points and LeBron James was playing well.
It all fell apart in the second half.
The Boston Celtics clawed back and ended up winning by 13 points, despite a monster night from LeBron (42 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds). Kevin Love played decently enough, but the rest of the Cavs role players were shockingly ineffective. After the game, a reporter asked Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue about his rotation tactics, and specifically why Rodney Hood continues to get minutes.
Reporter: “You’re not getting contributions from a lot of guys right now, but why is Rodney Hood still in the rotation?”
Lue: “Because I want him there.”
Reporter: “What has he done to show you he deserves those minutes?”
Lue: “Well, I’m going to keep playing him. He’ll be better. I thought he played well in Game 1, going 5-for-12 and getting into double figures. So that’s why I went with him.”
Reporter: Why is Rodney Hood still in the rotation?
Ty Lue: Cause I want him there ? pic.twitter.com/ofh5mueZEG
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) May 16, 2018
Keep in mind that Hood refused to check into the game during garbage time of Game 4 in the last round, when the Cavs swept the Raptors. The team decided not to discipline him for that, and continues to play him in clutch moments. Unfortunately for the Cavs, who are now down 0-2 with the series heading back to Cleveland, LeBron is the only one playing with any sort of consistency.
As for Lue continuing to use Hood — it’s not like he has a ton of better options available, so we’re not sure why anyone is surprised.