In just his second game with the Milwaukee Bucks, Matthew Dellavedova showed his ability to contribute in all areas.
Dellavedova finished with 14 points, nine assists, three rebounds and three steals in 36 minutes of action, while shooting 5-of-10 from the field, helping the Bucks hold off a surging Brooklyn Nets squad. John Henson’s tip-in at the buzzer secured the victory, but Dellavedova was vital on the offensive end, with and without the ball, and defensively in the Bucks’ maiden win of the season.
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) October 30, 2016
Coach Jason Kidd spoke highly of Dellavedova postgame, as he talked about his trust in the Australian, especially in late game situations.
“Having [Dellavedova] have the ball late in the game, being able to get to the basket and run the pick and roll [helps],” Kidd said, via the Bucks’ website.
Dellavedova provided the Bucks everything they need from him, and more. After a solid, but not spectacular debut, Dellavedova was able to run the offence efficiently, make shots and play fiery defence against Brooklyn.
As he flashed in glimpses throughout the preseason, Dellavedova was able to use his vision and playmaking ability to make an impact against the Nets. Dellavedova was even more useful in the clutch, as five of his nine assists came in the final period, where Milwaukee held off a hustling Brooklyn squad.
In the above play, Dellavedova shows his ability to patiently read and react to the defence. Instead of forcing a pass to Giannis Antetokounmpo or putting up a bad shot over two defenders, Dellavedova lets the play develop, before delivering a perfect pass for the dunk.
This is a set we have seen Dellavedova shine in multiple times during his career, as it shows how difficult he can be to defend in pick and roll scenarios. Justin Hamilton stays low on the Miles Plumlee screen, while Dellavedova is able to get in front of Jeremy Lin, thanks to the screen. As Trevor Booker moves across the front of the basket to stop Plumlee diving towards the rim, it leaves Dellavedova with an open mid-range floater, a shot he has hit numerous times.
The defence is left in a tough position here. If Hamilton comes up to Dellavedova, he will be able to drive past him, while leaving more space for Plumlee around the basket, even with Booker providing the help. If Lin goes under the initial screen, it’ll leave Dellavedova open on the three-point line, while Plumlee will have an open lane to the basket if Booker doesn’t help. Having the ball in Dellavedova’s hands, a player who rarely makes mistakes, gives the Bucks confidence in these situations.
Dellavedova can be used as an offensive weapon off the ball as well. In this inbound set, Dellavedova is able to set a screen on Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, which frees up the driving lane for Antetokounmpo. This also helps create the passing angle for Jabari Parker, who delivers the on-point pass to Antetokounmpo for the slam. If Dellavedova’s screen isn’t effective, Antetokounmpo would never be able to get an open path to the basket, so it is the vital part of the play.
What’s this, Dellavedova on the floor, hustling for a loose ball? You have seen this type of play from Dellavedova a number of times, but it’s his knack of doing it in clutch moments, such as the above example, that makes him such a devastating defender.
Two games in, Dellavedova has been a steady plug in Milwaukee’s offence. If he can continue to provide efforts like he did against the Nets, Dellavedova could end up being one of the NBA’s most reliable starting point guards.