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Aussies in NBA: On Delly's cross-court passes against the Grizz
It's back to the start! Matthew Dellavedova started alongside LeBron James, Andersen Varejao, Timofey Mozgov and Richard Jefferson today. The Cavaliers opted to go big this game, pairing Mozgov with national teammate Sasha Kaun, and other times with Varejao, but ultimately lost 91-81 (box score). Cleveland was severely outrebounded 29-39.
Dellavedova played almost 25 minutes today, scoring 2 points on 1 of 3 shooting. He also had 4 assists, 1 rebound, 1 steal and 2 turnovers. Delly's shot opportunities were very limited this game. He was the default ball handler outside of James, and spent his time looking for the open man more than his own shot.
How did his passing fare?
Early in the first quarter, Delly found LeBron for an open shot. He dribbled past the initial Varejao screen, noticed the defensive lapse and swung it across to James for an open corner three.
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The same action happened near the end of the quarter, but the ball went to Mozgov this time. Instead of attacking, the center smartly dished the ball out to Joe Harris up top for the three.
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And finally, a desperate pass from Jeff Green at the baseline was picked off. Dellavedova started the fast break, and found Joe Harris for an undefended baseline three.
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Cross-court passes aren't necessarily the best thing however, in the face of a watchful defense. Watch how Dellavedova drove into a double-team, and struggled to get the ball out of the trap. His pass out to James was taken away by Courtney Lee, who ran the floor and sank an open jumper.
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Things look good, but caution should be taken on resetting possessions. When Dellavedova drives, faces a trap and the next option on Delly's menu (the lob to a big man) is not available, what happens next?
The LeBron James show
James displayed a rather entertaining sequence in the second quarter. He picked off a long pass from Conley, dribbled around Lee, pretended to dive into a Gasol/Lee trap but instead threw a no-look, overhead pass to Jefferson. The veteran did his part, and sank the shot.
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