Sometime between shootaround and Utah’s game against the Nuggets, something changed for Rodney Hood.
The Jazz guard spoke with the media Tuesday morning, talking about what a challenge the Denver Nuggets would present. A few hours before he was to suit up for the evening, the Jazz found out the challenge would be even greater: Hood had to sit out with soreness in his left ankle.
If that seems like a surprisingly tight turnaround for an injury — this is life in the NBA, coach Quin Snyder said.
“Every kind of ache and pain doesn’t get dramatized until it gets to a point where it becomes something that we need to deal with and impacts his ability to play and perform,” he said. “That’s the situation. It’s gotten, not progressively worse, but it’s become more impactful.”
Hood had missed two games prior to Tuesday night this season. In October against Minnesota, he went down with a left calf strain and missed the next two games.
While Hood had been coming off the bench for the Jazz, he’s mostly validated the preseason expectation that he would pick up scoring slack this season. He’s led Utah with 17.7 points per game, picking up to 20.4 points per game in the last 10 contests while shooting over 40 percent from 3-point range.
While Hood is a discouraging addition to the injury report for the Jazz, the team did remove point guard Raul Neto from the report and made him available to play. Utah is also hoping to have a further medical update on Joe Johnson by Wednesday morning — he’s missed four weeks with a wrist injury.
Bradley not playing, but progressing
While one of Utah’s first-round draft picks has started 13 games this season, the other hasn’t found the floor much.
The most center Tony Bradley has played this season was five minutes in a blowout to the Houston Rockets. But he’s still been getting playing time with the Jazz G League affiliate Salt Lake City Stars, scoring eight points and grabbing eight rebounds in a game Monday night.
But Snyder said Bradley, for the moment, is right where the Jazz want him to be: growing.
“It’s a process, between working in the weight room ... continuing to develop his body, strength and athleticism,” Snyder said. “Some of that is experience. It’s hard for him to come by for him.”
Mitchell matches Dr. Dunkensein
Whether he’s trying to keep up with Jazz history or Louisville players in the NBA, Donovan Mitchell is doing well.
With six points in the second quarter of Tuesday’s game, he became one of only two Jazz rookies to score at least 300 points in his first 21 games. The other was a fellow Cardinal: Dr. Dunkenstein himself, Darrell Griffith.