Rodney Hood 'locked in' and 'able to contribute even more'

Jamie Hudson

Mr. Comfortable? What about Mr. Confident? Or, is Mr. Consistent more fitting?

All three names could easily describe Trail Blazers starting small forward Rodney Hood this season.

In the Trail Blazers 107-103 victory over the Bulls on Friday night, Hood was extremely effective both from long distance and with his midrange game.

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The six-year veteran has become the go-to guy to knockdown a corner three for the Blazers this season. Whether it's Damain Lillard, CJ McCollum, or now Carmelo Anthony kicking it out to Hood, his teammates are finding him.

Hood finished with 19 points on an efficient 7-for-12 shooting, including 3-of-5 from long range on a night where the Blazers as a team struggled from three.

"He would be the first to say that his teammates are doing a good job," Blazers Coach Terry Stotts said postgame. "His threes have been pretty open on weakside swings, so I think he's been in good position."

And Coach Stotts was right. Hood gave credit to his teammates for kicking it out to him.

"The trust has just grown between, Dame, CJ, and myself, even with Melo, he hit me with a couple on the weakside. Guys really trusting guys to knock down shots and not going up against two other three guys, they're really trusting guys on the weakside," Hood said.

It's clear the Blazers have come to rely on Hood's scoring at a consistent rate. In his last ten games, he is averaging 57.5 percent from the floor and 51.7 percent from deep.

But Coach Stotts hasn't just been pleased with his efficient shooting.

"He's a very skilled player," Stotts continued. "He spots up threes, goes one-on-one to take a smaller guy to the block, he usually takes the toughest perimeter defensive assignment every night, so you know the hope was when he came back, after only being with us for a short time last year that he would feel more comfortable and be able to contribute even more."

Now, let's talk more about Mr. Consistent on the offensive end.

Hood is currently shooting 50.8 percent from three-point range. That ranks him second in the league only behind Marcus Morris' 52.4 percent.

Putting in a summer of work is what Hood attributes his hot shooting to this season.

"I felt like I could always shoot the ball, but this summer I really wanted to focus on particularly shooting off the catch. It was something I felt like I could make a strength and I knew I'd get a lot of open opportunities playing with these guys," Hood said.

Alright, but maybe it is Mr. Confident since Hood mentioned that postgame:

"You've just got to shoot it with confidence regardless if you make it or miss it. You've just gotta continue to be aggressive because if those guys pass it to you [in the corner], it's an automatic you have to shoot the ball. I've just been putting in the work and right now it's good. If I go through a slump, I still gotta step up and shoot it."

There are many nicknames for Hood that are fitting at the moment, but ‘Hoodie' is just going to take his open opportunities because that is the role he has been given, and that's the role he has willingly accepted.  

Rodney Hood 'locked in' and 'able to contribute even more' originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

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