Cleveland Cavaliers: LeBron James Couldn’t Trust Jordan Clarkson And Rodney Hood

The Cleveland Cavaliers were struggling most of the season and decided they needed to make a roster change. Out the door was Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose and in came Jordan Clarkson and Rodney Hood. On paper, it seemed like a win for LeBron James and the Cavs as they were getting younger with proven scorers. However, something went terribly wrong between LeBron saying “we have a team now” and the playoffs.

Before both players were shipped to the Cleveland Cavaliers, they were solid contributors for their respective teams. Jordan Clarkson was averaging 14.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 3.3 assists while shooting 45 percent from the floor for the Los Angeles Lakers. Hood, while with the Utah Jazz was averaging 16.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.7 assists while shooting 42 percent from the floor. Good numbers from both players but with Cleveland, everything changed.

Yes, playing with a star like LeBron James will take away some value from your game but isn’t that the reason the Cavs went and got these two young guys? The need for more offensive firepower was a must and all Lue did was put shackles on both scorers. The regular season was not much of an audition as these players were brought in strictly for the playoff run.

In the 19 games Clarkson played in the playoffs, he averaged just 4.7 points and shot 30 percent from the floor. Maybe that be can be attributed to playoff jitters as he’s been with the Lakers his entire career. But what’s a player to do when he’s getting 14 minutes a game and watching as James and Love hoist up shot after shot?

The same can be said for Hood. In 17 games, Hood averaged just 5.4 points while shooting 42 percent. Did they both play awful? Yes. However, were they used properly? No. Maybe it had to do with Lue and James looking to go with a more veteran playoff bunch but if so, what was the point of trading away Wade and Rose?

What the Cavaliers were looking for was youth and one of these players to take over the scoring load left vacant with the departure of Irving. According to Nathan Beighle of King James Gospel, neither Clarkson or Hood, early in the season had stepped up to the plate. Beighle would go on to say that while Clarkson has averaged 13.4 points since coming over, it’s been Hood who has seen the playing time in crunch situations. However, Hood was only averaging 9.8 points per game.

Cleveland Cavaliers

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

What they had to learn is that playing for the Lakers or Jazz in a tight game is far different than playing with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Players come to Cleveland expecting to win and will do whatever it takes to do so. LeBron is still considered the best in the NBA and Love has shown he can help take the load off LeBron’s shoulders. However, it was Irving who provided relief to LeBron and Love when the ball wasn’t bouncing their way the past three years. Clarkson and Hood couldn’t deliver?

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