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If we're going to go ahead and assume the Jazz have a chance to win their first-round series with the Clippers — Rudy Gobert's not walking through that door anytime soon — then, let's also go ahead and say it real, the way it is here.

The Jazz need help. They need something extraordinary. They need resolve and they need accuracy.

The only way they can find victory again is if they moderately hold the line at the defensive end and explode at the offensive. And the best way for them to get that kind of righteous pop is for some shooter, any shooter, to fire up the burners.

The Jazz are looking at you, Rodney Hood.

Gordon Hayward can't do it alone. Neither can Joe Ingles. Not even Joe Johnson, who boosted the Jazz so admirably in Game 1, straight into the grimace of the Gobert injury, can do that kind of heavy lifting in any consistent manner.

If all of those guys collectively pull an upward move, and Hood comes alive, that gives the Jazz their chance, even if it is a fat one.

Thing is, Hood knows this. He's been battling a bad wheel for most of the season that has for whatever reason, never healed. He's missed 23 games and played in numerous others well south of 100 percent. He said Thursday that the joint won't heal until he rests it after the playoffs, that he's in significant pain, that he does everything he can to keep the hurting and the distraction it causes him to a minimum.

But … he believes he can be a difference-maker.

"This is an opportunity for me," he said. "I'm really looking forward to the next few games. My teammates want me to shoot. I believe I can get those shots and make them. Knocking down shots gives us our best chance to win."

He paused.

"The Clippers are a great team. We have to score to beat these guys. Even with our good defense, we have to make shots. That's the biggest thing in Game 2 that we didn't do. That gives us our best chance."

He paused again.

"I'm very confident."

Hood's lifted his team before during the regular season, hitting clutch game-winners and blowing up for huge nights. He's one of the few guys on the roster who's got that eruptive quality in him, even though he averaged a modest 12.7 points per game this season, down from last year's 14.5.

In the first two games of this series, Hood's bumped and skidded, averaging just nine points on 35-percent shooting. Nowhere near good enough.

He knows that, too. Everybody else does, too.

"Shooting is always an equalizer," Quin Snyder said, when asked about Hood, among others. "The reality is, when you shoot well, you have a better opportunity to win. There has to be a mental toughness when you're not shooting well. Hopefully, that gate opens up, we shoot it, and are able to take advantage of that. We have weapons on the wing. They just have to be confident, be aggressive, not fear anything."

Not even fearing not having their big man on the floor.

Even as the Clippers pounded them in Game 2, repeatedly throwing down the thunder at the rim, seemingly demoralizing the Jazz with every dunk, the Clips only won that thing by eight points. They shot 52 percent as a team, the Jazz 45 percent.

Regardless of their other imperfections Tuesday night, if the Jazz can narrow or rearrange those percentages on their home court Friday night, aiming at their own familiar rims, their own familiar backdrops at Vivint Arena, to the sweet sounds of their raucous crowd, perhaps even down a man, they can scope straight enough to give themselves hope.

Really, it's their only hope.

When the Jazz have played their best, even while facing adversity at nearly every turn, they've moved the ball effectively, giving up clean looks to get cleaner ones, and they've been able to hover around the 50-percent mark on those occasions. Efficiency has been their friend.

It must warmly fold its arms around them now.

That's where Hood comes in. If Hayward and Ingles and George Hill want to rally, as well, all the better for a team left searching for additional firepower.

"I believe," Hood said, "it's something we can do."

GORDON MONSON hosts "The Big Show" with Spence Checketts weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on 97.5 FM and 1280 AM. Twitter: @GordonMonson.

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