Even though the past few seasons have probably edged fans to fearing the worst when it comes to injuries, Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said he tried to keep a cool head when Rodney Hood fell and grabbed the back of his left leg on Friday night.
“I’ve kind of conditioned myself not to jump to conclusions about these things one way or another,” he said. “Sometimes when they don’t look as bad, you kind of feel like, ‘Oh, it’s not that bad,’ and then it ends up to be worse.”
Fortunately for the Jazz, the injury to Hood went the other way: It’s less serious than initially looked.
While Hood was carried off the Target Center court in the second half in a loss to Minnesota, The Tribune reported a follow-up MRI on his leg revealed a left calf strain. He’s considered day-to-day in his recovery process, but missed Saturday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Rookie Donovan Mitchell made his second start for the Jazz in Hood’s place, having replaced him at the last minute in Wednesday’s season opener.
Hood has struggled with injury throughout his career, playing in just over 77 percent of possible games in his first four seasons. But Snyder was relieved to find out that the latest won’t keep Hood — who is expected to be one of Utah’s leading scorers this year — out for long, but again, he tried to stay centered rather than be overly optimistic.
“He’s still got to do the work and get back,” Snyder said. “I don’t know exactly how long it is going to take, but hopefully we will have him back in due time.”
Jazz host ‘5 for the Fight’ night
The first-ever corporate sponsorship patch on the Jazz uniform has a cause: funding cancer research.
While the patch is being worn throughout the season, the Jazz made the Saturday game against the Thunder a “5 for the Fight” promotional night, encouraging fans to write the name of a personal friend or acquaintance on their hands. Several Jazz players bore the initials “JP” for JP Gibson, an 8-year-old who has befriended several players and Jazz officials during a years-long battle with leukemia. Shirts were also on sale to benefit cancer research.
The Jazz will be donating to 5 for the Fight throughout the season. One example: Ricky Rubio, who lost his mom to cancer last year, will donate for each assist he makes this year. The Jazz will also hold another 5 for the Fight night in March.
Stars select three in G-League draft
On Saturday afternoon, the Utah Jazz’s G-League affiliate added three big bodies in the G-League’s draft.
The Stars selected Sidy Djitte (6-foot-10, Clemson), Alonzo Nelson-Odoba (6-foot-9, Pitt) and Nahshon George (6-foot-9, Idaho) in the draft. They also made a trade earlier in the week to guard Isaiah Cousins in exchange for the second overall pick.
The Stars already own the rights to Nazareth Mitrou-Long, Taylor Braun, Torian Graham and Kendall Pollard while also acquiring the rights to Aaron Craft. The Stars will also have access to two-way contract players Nate Wolters and Eric Griffin.