NBA Finals 2015: Is Matthew Dellavedova Overrated?


The Cleveland Cavaliers evened the NBA Finals on Sunday night thanks in large part to Matthew Dellavedova, but is he getting into overrated territory?

When the Cleveland Cavaliers lost Kyrie Irving for the rest of the NBA Finals, it looked to the rest of the league like the series was over. All the pundits and their grandmothers were saying that LeBron James carried the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals and Cleveland was done with only one of their Big 3 left standing.

But what people forgot was that there’s players like J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert on the roster who carry their weight and helped get the Cavaliers to the Finals. Perhaps one of the most valuable — if not the most vaulable secondary player on the roster has been Matthew Dellavedova.

No player has grown as a folk hero like Delly has in the postseason and no player comes out with the tenacity that Delly comes out with. J.R. Smith is great at taking every single shot possible, Iman is great at facilitating and Tristan Thompson has made us forget about Kevin Love — but Dellavedova has been a pulse for the Cavaliers and that was evident in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

Delly helped give Steph Curry one of his worst games this postseason and it’s led those same pundits who wrote the Cavaliers off to start warming up to the idea that Delly is Steph Curry’s kryptonite.

In the words of Stephen A. Smith: let’s not get ahead of ourselves. 

I’ve been hard on Dellavedova this season, and his play this postseason has made believers out of a lot of people. But let’s not take one game and make an argument as grand as Delly being Steph’s kryptonite out of it. It’s true that the Cavaliers are a much better team with Delly on the floor and he did manage to shut down Steph in Game 2. But will that be a trend or just a spotty coincidence?

The argument in favor of Delly being the author of ‘The Curry Rules’ is that the MVP has allowed Delly into his head and will play extra aggressive in a way that’s detrimental to the Warriors. But let’s not forget how mentally tough Steph Curry is and how dangerous he can be when he’s stroking it during an offensive run.

There are few players who can drain three pointers as effortlessly as Steph Curry and no matter how tenacious Delly was in Game 2, Curry has a way of figuring players out. That’s what LeBron James does to make him such a dangerous player and Curry has shown that trait in the past.

Matthew Dellavedova is a stud for the Cavaliers, but he needs more than just one great game against Steph Curry to get the label of a Curry Stopper. That might happen in Game 3, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves — for the sake of our sanity.

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