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2019-20 Preseason Profile: Matthew Dellavedova

Scrappy Fan-Favorite Looks to Carry Summer Success Into the Season
by Joe Gabriele Beat Writer

2019-20 Preseason Profile:
Matthew Dellavedova

Scrappy Fan-Favorite Looks to Carry Summer Success Into the Season

While most of his teammates, old and new, will have to get their competitive edge back after a long offseason, Matthew Dellavedova will be battle-tested – fresh off his FIBA Basketball World Cup stint with the (currently) undefeated Boomers.

Australia improved to 6-0 in the international tournament after dropping the Czech Republic by a dozen points on Wednesday night. They’ll face Spain on Friday for a slot in the finals as well as their first medal in history.

Patty Mills is leading the way – averaging 22.2 ppg through his first six games – but it’s the Boomers’ team-first philosophy that has them two wins away from the Gold. They simply share the ball better than any team in the tournament. In a Second Round win over the Dominican Republic, the team assisted on all 30 made baskets.

In that respect, Delly is leading the way for Australia – averaging 6.0 assists per game, good for sixth among all players. But that’s nothing new for the seventh-year guard, who led Cleveland a year ago – averaging 4.2 helpers in his 36-game return with the Wine & Gold.

A fan-favorite since signing as an undrafted free agent in 2011, Delly missed the final 17 games of 2018-19 with a concussion, but he made a true impression in his brief reunion tour. And after a successful summer with the Boomers, he’ll be ready to roll when Camp tips off later this month.

Delly's Boomers are looking to medal for the first time ever in the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Photo: Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

LOOKING BACK -- After four straight trips to the NBA Finals, last season got off to a strange start, beginning with a coaching change just six games into the season. The Cavaliers limped into December with a 4-17 mark, Kevin Love was on the shelf with a toe injury, the team’s 19-year-old Draft pick was now the starting point guard and JR Smith was days away from parting ways with the squad.

Needing to shake up the roster, the Wine & Gold pulled off a three-team deal – acquiring Matthew Dellavedova, John Henson and a pair of picks from the Bucks, sending Sam Dekker to Washington and George Hill to Milwaukee in the process.

Henson, who had left wrist surgery before the deal, never played a minute for Cleveland. Delly, on the other hand, was outstanding.

The return to Cleveland immediately energized Delly’s season. He debuted against his former squad, netting 11 points and four assists in just 15 minutes of action. He stayed hot when he made his triumphant return to Cleveland – canning three triples, tallying 15 points off the bench in a win over New York two nights later.

One of the heroes from Cleveland’s 2016 title run, Dellavedova notched double-figures in each of his first five games with Cleveland. But just as importantly, he provided rookie Collin Sexton with a solid veteran backup midway through a difficult season.

Delly’s scoring leveled out as the season progressed – finishing the campaign with 13 double-digit scoring games – but his leadership, toughness and basketball I.Q. had a definite effect on Larry Drew’s young squad. In his 36-game run with the Cavaliers, without starting a single game, he led the team in assists on 13 different occasions.

But Delly’s reunion tour came to a screeching half after he suffered a concussion in the first half of a March 6 matchup in Brooklyn and proceeded to miss the final five weeks of the season.

BY THE NUMBERS: 24 … assists that Delly handed out in back-to-back games in February, the second time in his career that he’s tallied consecutive games of double-digit assists.

In the first of those two games – a triple-overtime loss to the Nets – he passed out 13 helpers, most by a Cavalier this past season. And those games were part of a seven-game early-February stretch in which Delly averaged 5.2 apg off the bench – tallying at least five dimes in each contest.

LOOKING AHEAD -- Like our previous player in the preseason preview – Jordan Clarkson – there shouldn’t be any confusion over Matthew Dellavedova’s role with the squad. John Beilein knows exactly what he can do and understands his immense value alongside a young roster.

The Cavaliers won five of their previous eight games before Delly suffered a season-ending concussion against the Nets and won just two more games the rest of the way. Even on a struggling team, Delly simply plays winning basketball. And when the baptism-by-fire experience got a little too warm for then-rookie Collin Sexton, the Aussie import was there to take some of the heat off.

Sexton is still just 20 years old, and the Wine & Gold just drafted three more youngsters who’ll have to take some lumps of their own. With that in mind, Delly’s knowledge, experience and intensity will be invaluable in their development.

Like Clarkson, Delly knows exactly what his role will be in 2019-20. If he can stay healthy, he’s proven that he knows how to win ballgames. Cleveland’s youngsters would be wise to take notes starting on September 30.

Wine & Gold Winners Powered by ENGIE

The Wine & Gold defeated the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on November 10th, 2019, behind a 31-point performance by Collin Sexton.

Delly Preview Playlist

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Wine & Gold Winners Powered by ENGIE

The Wine & Gold defeated the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on November 10th, 2019, behind a 31-point performance by Collin Sexton.
Jun 30, 2020  |  01:42

KeyBank Key Moment: Cavs Take Game 3 Behind Delly and LBJ

On June 9th, 2015, the Cavaliers beat the Warriors in Game 3 of the 2015 Finals behind LeBron James and Matthew Dellavedova.
Jun 11, 2020  |  01:35

KeyBank Key Moment: Delly's Big Night in Chicago

Matthew Dellavedova scores 19 points in a Game 6 win in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 2015 against the Chicago Bulls.
May 17, 2020  |  00:48

A Special Message from the Cavaliers

The common thread, through ANY challenge we face, is our UNITY. View a special message from the Cavaliers organization. We can’t wait to be back together again!
May 14, 2020  |  00:58

GAME RECAP: Bulls 108, Cavaliers 103

Coby White scores 20 points, Wendell Carter Jr. adds 17 with 6 rebounds as the Bulls win it, 108-103.
Mar 10, 2020  |  00:01

No One Can Catch Sexton on Fast-Break Slam

Matthew Dellavedova steals the ball and sends a pass down the floor to a sprinting Collin Sexton who dunks in transition.
Mar 10, 2020  |  00:12

Drummond Finishes All-Oop Feed From Delly

Matthew Dellavedova throws a pass to Andre Drummond from behind the three point line as Drummond dunks home the ally-oop.
Mar 10, 2020  |  00:13

Delly Waits for the Right Time, Finds LNJ for Dunk

Matthew Dellavedova waits patiently for Larry Nance Jr. to make a cut to the hoop, as Delly splits the defense with a pass that leads to a Nance dunk at the end of the first half.
Mar 10, 2020  |  00:16

Delly's Great Dime to KLove

Kevin Love sets a pick for Matthew Dellavedova and rolls to the hoop as Delly finds Love with a great bounce pass that leads to a Love basket.
Mar 10, 2020  |  00:09

Cavs First Half Block Party

Alfonzo McKinnie, Larry Nance Jr., and Matthew Dellavedova all block Bulls shots in the first quarter.
Mar 10, 2020  |  00:29

Sexton Gets On the Board with Two Lay-Ups

Collin Sexton scores four quick points with a transition bucket and a lay-up off a great pass from Matthew Dellavedova.
Mar 10, 2020  |  00:18

Top 5 powered by ENGIE

Check out the Top 5 of the twentieth week of the campaign from the Wine & Gold powered by ENGIE.
Mar 10, 2020  |  01:44

Cavs vs. Spurs On-Court Postgame: Andre Drummond & Matthew Dellavedova

Cavaliers center Andre Drummond and guard Matthew Dellavedova spoke with FOX Sports Ohio’s Angel Gray following Sunday’s 132-129 OT win over the San Antonio Spurs at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Mar 8, 2020  |  02:12

GAME RECAP: Cavaliers 132, Spurs 129

Andre Drummond leads with 28 points and grabs 17 boards for Cleveland to win a nail biter home game against San Antonio, 132-129
Mar 8, 2020  |  00:01

Love's Three Give Cavs OT Lead

Matthew Dellavedova hits Kevin Love in the corner, as Love knocks down the clutch three ball in overtime.
Mar 8, 2020  |  00:14

Dellavedova, Drummond Give Cavs Late Lead

Matthew Dellavedova cans a big three ball and Andre Drummon dunks home a missed shot to give Cleveland a late lead in the fourth quarter.
Mar 8, 2020  |  00:21

Delly Ties Game Up with a Three Ball

Matthew Dellavedova fires and hits a triple to even up the score in the fourth quarter.
Mar 8, 2020  |  00:09

Delly and Dre Connect for an Ally-Oop Off the Inbound

Matthew Dellavedova connects with Andre Drummond for a perfectly executed ally-oop inbound play.
Mar 8, 2020  |  00:09

Sexton Cuts and Dunks

Collin Sexton gets wide open in the paint as Matthew Dellavedova hits him for an easy dunk.
Mar 8, 2020  |  00:10

GAME RECAP: Cavaliers 104, Nuggets 102

Kevin Love scores 27 points and 6 rebounds Saturday night as Cleveland beat Denver, 104-102.
Mar 8, 2020  |  00:01

Cavs vs. Nuggets Postgame: Matthew Dellavedova

Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova spoke with the media following Saturday’s 104-102 win over the Denver Nuggets at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Mar 7, 2020  |  02:20

Matthew Dellavedova with 14 Assists vs. Denver Nuggets

Matthew Dellavedova dished out a career-high 14 assists in Saturday's win against the Denver Nuggets.
Mar 7, 2020  |  00:01

Love, Dellavedova with a Big Time Jumpers

Matthew Dellavedova and Kevin Love both hit clutch shots in the fourth quarter to give the Cavs the lead.
Mar 7, 2020  |  00:37

Delly Throws Two Oops in a Row

Matthew Dellavedova sets up his teammates two possessions in a row by throwing lobs. The first to Tristan Thompson and the second to Alfonzo McKinnie.
Mar 7, 2020  |  00:19

Love and Delly Connect on the Give-and-Go

Kevin Love and Matthew Dellavedova connect on a give and go that ends in a Dellavedova lay-up.
Mar 7, 2020  |  00:10

Delly to Sexton for Slam Dunk

Matthew Dellavedova puts a pass on the money to a cutting Collin Sexton who dunks it easily inside.
Mar 7, 2020  |  00:09

GAME RECAP: Celtics 112, Cavaliers 106

Jayson Tatum scores 32 points and 9 rebounds Wednesday night as Boston beat Cleveland, 112-106.
Mar 4, 2020  |  00:01

Delly Throws it Up Top to Dean Wade for the Oop

Matthew Dellavedova assists Dean Wade on an ally-oop late in the first quarter against the Celtics.
Mar 4, 2020  |  00:13

GAME RECAP: Jazz 126, Cavaliers 113

Bojan Bogdanovic scores 28 as the Jazz get the win over the Cavaliers, 126-113.
Mar 2, 2020  |  00:01

Nance Throws Down Powerful Dunk

Matthew Dellavedova assists Larry Nance Jr. on this strong, two-handed ally-oop in the fourth quarter.
Mar 2, 2020  |  00:17

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