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.