Utah Jazz key match-up 11/3: DeMar DeRozan vs. Rodney Hood

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 01: Demar Derozan (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 01: Demar Derozan (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

After a very poor showing against the Portland Trailblazers on Wednesday, Utah Jazz alleged “first option” on offense, Rodney Hood, will need to show up against the Toronto Raptors tonight for the Jazz to be successful. The key match-up to watch will be Rodney Hood vs. DeMar DeRozan.

DeMar DeRozan is coming off a career year averaging 27.3 points per game. When he and his Toronto Raptors team come to town tonight, the three-time All-Star will look to scorch the Utah Jazz with his prolific scoring. Like Hood, DeRozan is coming off a woeful performance on Wednesday night (10 points) and will probably come out aggressive.

The Raptors are also coming into the sixth game of a six-game road trip and perhaps fatigue was a factor in the Denver Nuggets blowout victory over Toronto on Wednesday.

Will Rodney Hood ever be consistent?

This is the real question: seeing how Hood bounces back after such an awful night on 0-of-11 shooting. The story of Hood’s career has been consistency, and this year has been no different.

Now, keep in mind that we probably shouldn’t be too harsh on Hood since he was sick through the first game and missed the next two games to injury and was still in injury-recovery in the next. However, there isn’t much of a clear excuse against Portland.

Looking at Rodney’s stats through the six games he’s played, just look at the up and down in points and plus-minus. Negative, positive, negative, positive, huge positive, negative.

Also note that because Hood had shot himself into a black hole, the crucial fourth quarter and overtime minutes against the Blazers went to rookie Donovan Mitchell. Credit to Hood who was smiling and cheering him on from the sideline. That’s a positive sign for Hood’s leadership abilities.

2017-18 Regular Season Table
1UTADENW (+10)017:4024.50023.66700022064.2-13
2UTA@MINL (-3)123:45712.58337.429331.00001142015.7+10
5UTA@PHOL (-9)135:14716.43827.286661.00001122211.9-7
6UTALALW (+15)128:44514.35737.429000332133.7+4
7UTADALW (+15)129:05915.60059.556221.00003312517.5+30
8UTAPORW (+9)119:50011.00001.0000002220-4.0-4

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/3/2017.

Is Rodney Hood a shooter or a scorer?

This is so relevant to mention. Of course, a pure scorer is typically also a good shooter (not always, but usually). However, even if the shot isn’t falling, which inevitably it won’t, they still find ways to put points on the board. Whether it’s through the drive and paint scoring or getting to the foul line.

Hood is averaging a dismal 1.9 free throw attempts per game. To me, this is the key for him to turn the corner on being a number one option. We saw this from Hayward, especially last season, but we have yet to see it from Rodney.

Next: Utah Jazz vs. Toronto Raptors: Keys to remain undefeated at home

If Hood can bounce back from his performance and find a way to start getting to the line if his shot doesn’t fall tonight, the Jazz won’t have to lean so heavily on Ricky Rubio and Donovan Mitchell (what a fun game that was vs. Portland, by the way). Rodney, we’re counting on you.