Giannis Antetokounmpo: How does Rodney Hood fit with the Finals MVP?

Nov 21, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 21, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Over the past several years, the Milwaukee Bucks have always factored in just how well a player might fit next to Giannis Antetokounmpo before they bring them in.

Nikola Mirotic, Kyle Korver, and Bryn Forbes are three examples that immediately come to mind as moves the team has made over the past few seasons to complement the two-time MVP. What do they all have in common? On paper, they are all reputable shooters that can shoot the ball and let the Greek Freak go to work down low. That is precisely what the Bucks are hoping they can get out of Rodney Hood, who they also signed this past offseason.

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The Bucks signed Hood shortly after their title-winning campaign to a one-year deal worth the minimum. Considering Hood is coming off the least productive season of his career to date, many initially glossed over the move, and understandably so.

Yes, the health concerns are there as the guard has been bombarded by injuries in the past two seasons, but if healthy, this move has high upside. Hood’s fit next to Antetokounmpo could help him get his career back on the right track next year.

Rodney Hood is a perfect fit next to Giannis Antetokounmpo during the 2021-22 NBA season

Obviously, the Bucks and head coach Mike Budenholzer clamor for their players to shoot the basketball consistently from long range, largely due to that spacing it gives Antetokounmpo to operate. Shooting 36.7 percent from 3-point range over his seven years in the association to this point, Hood has established himself as a reliable threat from deep. While he is coming off an ugly shooting season where he shot a career-low 30.1 percent from 3-point range, his nagging injury woes and being traded midway through the season might have played a part in that. Perhaps this change of scenery and an offseason to recover could help him establish a rhythm as next season inches closer.

Looking at those aforementioned names, their track record suggests that the best way for Hood to find a groove next to Antetokounmpo is to be a reliable catch-and-shoot threat from distance. Of course, Korver was already one of the greatest 3-point shooters in NBA history when the team brought him aboard for the 2019-20 season, but his fit with Antetokounmpo helped him thrive. According to, he shot 80-of-185 (43.2 percent) on catch-and-shoot triples, which certainly helped Antetokounmpo operate. The same went for Bryn Forbes the following season as he shot 133-of-287 (46.3 percent) on those attempts as he had a career year shooting the ball.

Luckily, Hood has been a solid catch-and-shoot guard throughout his career, but he will have to bounce back after a lackluster year in 2020-21. As he battled through adversity, Hood would go an abysmal 18-of-73 (24.7 percent) on catch-and-shoot attempts. That number is unquestionably worrisome, but Hood is a better player than that number suggests. If there is any team or system that can get him firing on all cylinders from the outside once again, it is a Bucks team with coach Mike Budenholzer at the helm. Just as Forbes and Korver spent most of their minutes paired with Antetokounmpo on the court, Budenholzer will pair Hood with him frequently as well.

This is the definition of a low-risk, high-reward signing. Set to play on the minimum, Hood could quickly outplay that deal if he is back to full strength. It appears that he is anxious to get started as the team recently posted a picture of him working out in the facility with several other new faces.

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Only time will tell, but this could prove to be another underrated move by general manager Jon Horst shortly into the season if all goes right.