Alley-oop dunks to Jake Layman.
Damian Lillard “logo” three-pointers.
Signature CJ McCollum crossovers.
Jusuf Nurkic swats, where the ball ends up five rows back.
You can add the playmaking ability of wing Rodney Hood to the list of things Trail Blazer fans at Moda Center are crazy about.
With Hood making his debut on Thursday, Trail Blazers fans, players, and the coaching staff were all eager to see what the 26-year-old wing could do against the Spurs.
Portland started out strong offensively in the first half on Thursday and was able to close out the game with team defense to defeat the Spurs 127-118.
“A very good first game for Rodney Hood. It was good to see him get acclimated pretty quickly,” Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said postgame.
Hood played alongside Evan Turner, Lillard, Layman, and Nurkic, for most of his first stint after subbing in for McCollum.
Blazers fans welcomed Hood to Rip City starting at the moment he checked in at the 4:09 mark of the second quarter.
Applause and cheers filled the arena when he was announced for the first time and it didn’t go unnoticed.
Hood was very appreciative of the Blazers fans.
“It was amazing. I haven’t felt that welcome for a very long time. It was great and they got me going and it pushed us over the hump tonight, especially when [the Spurs] were hitting all those shots,” Hood said.
Portland was able to go smaller with its lineup overall against San Antonio, but individually, Hood used his size to his advantage.
Hood backed down Brynn Forbes multiple times and used his length to make Forbes pay down low.
“I think he showed the kind of impact he can have on our team and the things that he can bring to the table,” Lillard said in the locker room.
In his debut, Hood went 6-of-7 from the field including 2-for-3 from three to finish with 14 pts. He also pulled down three rebounds.
It was his versatility, though, that has really caught his teammates eyes.
“Almost like my debut, huh?” Nurkic said with a smile. “I think his energy, and he’s able to score, it gives us a lot of different options.”
“He was efficient. He was sharp, got to his spots, he looked very comfortable and showed some versatility that we expected him to have,” McCollum said.
Hood’s different facets on offense were on full display. He had a nice floater to start the game; great back-to-the-basket finishes and he showed off his long range.
The newest Trail Blazer has now scored in double-figures for the 32nd time out of a 45 total games played this season.
Not only was the Moda Center crowd showing Hood some love, so was social media.
INCLUDING STEALING A LITTLE PIECE OF MY HEART— Brandon Goldner (@GoldnerPDX) February 8, 2019
There’s no doubt that the feeling is mutual.
“It felt great being out there for the first time. The fans were, you know, did a great job of just welcoming me and cheering me on. Once the first bucket went down, I felt at home,” Hood said.
Not only did Hood feel welcomed and at home, but Blazers fans also calmed his nerves.
“I was nervous. But like I said once that first bucket went down and when I heard the crowd I relaxed immediately. I was solid for the rest of the time,” Hood added.
Now Trail Blazers fans, players, and the coaching staff are all looking for Hood to feel solid for the remaining 28 regular season games… And beyond.