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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.

60-Second Recap: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Cavs can't rally on Friday night, fall to Grizzlies in Memphis.

Delly Preview Playlist

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60-Second Recap: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

Cavs can't rally on Friday night, fall to Grizzlies in Memphis.
Jan 17, 2020  |  00:01

GAME RECAP: Grizzlies 113, Cavaliers 109

Dillon Brooks is the leading scorer with 26 points in the close game against Cleveland, Memphis gets the win, 113-109.
Jan 17, 2020  |  00:01

GAME RECAP: Clippers 128, Cavaliers 103

Kawhi Leonard scores 43 points with four assists, three rebounds and a block to lead LA over Cleveland, 128-103.
Jan 15, 2020  |  00:01

GAME RECAP: Cavaliers 111, Nuggets 103

Collin Sexton scores 25 points and grabs 3 rebounds as the Cavaliers beat the Nuggets 111-103
Jan 11, 2020  |  00:02

McKinnie Scores Tough Backet Off Delly's Feed

Matthew Dellavedova finds Alfonzo McKinniecutting toward the hoop who makes a tough catch and finish in traffic.
Jan 9, 2020  |  00:08

Delly up Top to TT

Matthew Dellavedova finds Tristan Thompson for an ally-oop off of a perfectly executed inbounds play.
Jan 9, 2020  |  00:11

Featured Highlight: Cedi Soars & Slams

Matthew Dellavedova sends a rocket of a pass down court to Cedi Osman who throws it down with authority.
Jan 7, 2020  |  00:23

GAME RECAP: Pistons 115, Cavaliers 113

Detroit edges Cleveland 115-113 as Andre Drummond racks up 23 points and 20 rebounds.
Jan 7, 2020  |  00:01

GAME RECAP: Thunder 121, Cavaliers 106

Dennis Schroder scores 22 points, 3 assists, and grabs 2 rebounds as the Thunder beat the Cavaliers 121-106.
Jan 3, 2020  |  00:01

GAME RECAP: Hornets 109, Cavaliers 106

Terry Rozier leads the Hornets scoring 30 points with six rebounds to lead Charlotte over Cleveland, 109-106.
Jan 2, 2020  |  00:01

GAME RECAP: Raptors 117, Cleveland 97

Kyle Lowry leads Toronto with a win against Cleveland on Tuesday night.
Dec 31, 2019  |  00:01

GAME RECAP: Cavaliers 94, Timberwolves 88

Collin Sexton scores 18 points and grabs 7 rebounds as the Cavaliers beat the Timberwolves 94-88.
Dec 28, 2019  |  00:01

Delly Tosses the Oop to Tristan

Delly sends the pass over the Minny defense before finding T-Top for the alley-oop.
Dec 28, 2019  |  00:10

Delly Finds Cedi for Transition Lay-Up

Matthew Dellavedova runs the floor in transion and finds Cedi Osman who hits the lay-up in traffic on the other end.
Dec 27, 2019  |  00:10

60-Second Recap: Cavaliers vs. Hawks

Cleveland holds off Atlanta for their third-straight win on Monday night at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
Dec 23, 2019  |  00:01

Delly Hits Cedi with the Baseline Dime

Delly makes a pinpoint pass to Cedi along the baseline before Osman finds the bottom of the basket.
Dec 23, 2019  |  00:09

Cedi Hoops & Harms in the First Frame

Following a steal by Delly, Cedi shows off his strength with a tough and-one make in the first frame on Monday.
Dec 23, 2019  |  00:31

Delly Finds KLove for His Eighth Assist

Matthew Dellavedova sets up Kevin Love who knocks down a triple. Delly recorded his eighth assist of the night on that pass.
Dec 20, 2019  |  00:12

Delly Outlets to Nance for Tough Finish

Matthew Dellavedova grabs the loose ball after a Memphis miss and outlets to Larry Nance, Jr. who finishes the play with a contested lay-up.
Dec 20, 2019  |  00:11

KLove Uses a Pump Fake to Get Open, Cans the Three

Matthew Dellavedova gets creative on the pass to Kevin Love, who gets open on a pump fake and drains the triple.
Dec 20, 2019  |  00:10

Delly Finds a Cutting JC for an And-One

Matthew Dellavedova finds a cutting Jordan Clarkson in the paint for two, who finishes at the rim through contact.
Dec 20, 2019  |  00:21

Cavs vs. Grizzlies Shootaround: Matthew Dellavedova

Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova spoke with the media following Friday’s shootaround at Cleveland Clinic Courts as the Wine & Gold prep for the Memphis Grizzlies.
Dec 20, 2019  |  05:23

GAME RECAP: Cavaliers 100, Hornets 98

Kevin Love puts up 16 points, 14 rebounds and 7 assists to lead Cleveland over Charlotte, 100-98.
Dec 18, 2019  |  00:01

Pretty Passing Leads to Love Trey

Collin Sexton makes a mid-air pass to Delly who sends it along to Love for the deep ball.
Dec 18, 2019  |  00:10

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