The Cleveland Cavaliers notched their fourth consecutive preseason defeat, in today’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Cleveland raced out to a 9-0 lead after tipoff, but eventually lost to a late Milwaukee surge. The Cavs as a whole, did not look pretty. They shot poorly (35.1% in field goal attempts, 31.6% from downtown), were horrendously outrebounded (39-52), and did not seem to move the ball as well (19-30 in assists).
Matthew Dellavedova started tonight, and was one of the few who managed to maintain a positive impact, despite being matched against the lankier Michael Carter-Williams. Five players scored in double digits for the Cavs, and Delly was one of the two in positive +/- differentials, at a team-leading +14.
The guard also tied for most number of made threes –3 makes with Mo Williams, who shot 3/9 from deep– in the team. Dellavedova played 21 minutes, shot 4/9 from the field, and was excellent from the three-point line, making 3 of his 4 attempts. He also recorded 1 rebound, 2 assists and 1 steal (box score).
Delly has shown a tendency for the mid-range floater, which tends to catch defenders off balance.
It’s not surprising either. Wading through multiple defenders to reach the basket is a chore, and Delly isn’t the quickest player out there. It’s encouraging however, to see him fighting in the trenches and getting his hands dirty.
This drive and near-finish at the rim for example, certainly is something we don’t see often.
He made a similarly aggressive move later on, midway through the first quarter.
On to the shots. Delly hit two undefended corner threes, thanks to a confused Milwaukee defense, and was looked ready for the catch and shoot at all times. His third made trey came from a pullup shot, courtesy of teammate Mo Williams, who pushed the ball hard and got Delly the space he needed to shoot.
It’s too early to tell for sure, but his offseason training might be providing huge returns on the three-point catch and shoot. Couple that with the confidence he’s showing on driving to the hoop? Fun times might be lying in wait.