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Aussies in NBA: Dellavedova bounces back, scores 13 against Sixers
This was unexpected. Despite sitting all their starters (James, Irving, Love, Mozgov, Smith), the Cavaliers led by 15 at the end of the third. The Philadelphia Sixers however, rode a huge 41-point fourth quarter to set the stage for a comeback victory. It was ex-Taipan Scottie Wilbekin who took and made his only shot of the night, a buzzer beating three-pointer to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 115-114.
Matthew Dellavedova showed excellent form this game. He scored an efficient 13 points on 6 of 10 shots, and swished his only three of the night. The stocky guard grabbed 4 rebounds (2 offensive), recorded 5 assists, a steal and a turnover in nearly 26 minutes of play. He had the second-most court time among the Cavaliers tonight, outside of Cleveland swingman Jared Cunningham.
The Cavaliers chose to run with a smallish guard lineup tonight, playing Dellavedova and new-old Cavalier Mo Williams together. The lineup hurt on defense, especially against a lanky team like the Sixers. It makes sense on offense. Delly isn't a closer. Williams on the other hand, has never shied from taking the shot when needed, and is an experienced combo guard who is comfortable as off-ball shooter or playing point guard.
Dellavedova also displayed some sharp off-ball movement in the first quarter, sprinting open for a backdoor cut and finishing the pass from teammate Sasha Kaun.
Delly surprisingly, fared better at the rim than he did from outside. Part of that was due to his off-ball movement, the rest came from his improved ability to finish.
Last season, he was on track to be an all-time record-breaking anomaly who scored better from outside, and make less than a third of his shots from within the arc. He ended the 2014/15 regular season scoring at a clip of 54.4% from three-point land, and 45.6% on two-pointers. The playoffs? 55.9% on treys, 44.1% two-pointers.
Good or bad? Make of that what you will.
One game is too small a sample to conclude anything, but the signs are promising. The better Delly establishes himself as a driving threat, the easier it will be for him to fake the defenders out, and throw lobs for his teammates.
Let's see how the days ahead play out - this could be fun.