Cavaliers: Grading Matthew Dellavedova’s play thus far in 2019-2020

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova handles the ball. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova handles the ball. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Matthew Dellavedova, Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova handles the ball. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

When he’s been on the floor this season, Matthew Dellavedova’s been decent for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but his play has declined some. Here, we will examine and grade his performance in the 2019-2020 campaign thus far.

The Cleveland Cavaliers‘ 2018-2019 season was not an ideal one, however, one of the few bright spots during that time was the return of a fan favorite player, Matthew Dellavedova.

As one of the champions of the 2016 team, his arrival back in Cleveland via trade, then involving the Milwaukee Bucks and also the Washington Wizards, was welcomed by the fans, myself included.

Unfortunately, this 2019-2020 season has been cut short due to the unforeseen pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus. The NBA’s season is still currently suspended, of which you can view reported updates here, as KJG’s Dan Gilinsky hit on, and it is uncertain as to whether or not we’ll see the Cavaliers in game action again in 2019-20.

Either way, we do have 65 games of Cavs’ play that have already taken place, and with those games, we can examine and grade Dellavedova’s performance, of which he’s appeared in 57. Here, I will be looking at Delly’s offensive play, his defensive play, and his overall play.

A look at Dellavedova’s offensive play

The Aussie guard has played 14.4 minutes per game, and has averaged 3.1 points and 3.2 assists per game, which is an improvement from earlier in the season when he was averaging 3.0 points per game, with 1.9 assists. Those numbers, although they have improved, are still fairly lackluster based on what we know this Cleveland guard is capable of.

Delly hasn’t played a bunch of minutes, but he has definitely struggled as a scoring threat, to say the least, for much of the season to this point.

His field goal percentage is sitting at 35.4 percent, and his three-point percentage, though it’s gotten a bit better from the beginning of the season as well, is still sitting at a career-worst, just like his overall shooting clip, per Basketball Reference. Initially, Delly’s three-point percentage for this season was a beyond awful 10.0 percent.

Fortunately, that number has improved a bit to 23.1 percent, but that’s still been as bad as it gets, and Delly’s career average from three-point range is 36.8 percent, so I’m not sure what happened there.

In the early part of the season, Dellavedova did unfortunately have a right thumb sprain, but his shooting issues from the perimeter have lingered much longer.

Anyhow, while his shot really hasn’t been there outside of some occasional floaters, Delly is still a good passer, and in the 2019-2020 season, of current players, Delly’s assists have most often gone to Kevin Love, Larry Nance Jr., Cedi Osman, Collin Sexton, and Tristan Thompson, as indicated by’s passing tracking data.

Related Story. Grading Tristan Thompson's play thus far in 2019-20. light

Along with that, prior to the suspension of the NBA’s season due to COVID-19 concerns, the Cavaliers had begun seeing more promise in their team post-All-Star break under the direction of newer head coach J.B. Bickerstaff, especially after a win against the Denver Nuggets where Delly had a career-high 14 assists.

Darius Garland being out in that one played into Dellavedova’s assist total, sure, along with him leading Cleveland in assists per game post-All-Star, of which Garland missed four other games due to a left groin strain, but it was nice to see Dellavedova again showcase his passing vision/ability.

It is pretty clear that when it comes to his offensive play, Delly is not the player he used to be as a more reliable catch-and-shoot three-point shooter, but that is not necessarily a bad thing in the grand scheme. With Cleveland moving in a younger direction with guards like Sexton and Garland, it’s made sense for Dellavedova’s playing time to be cut down, along with his numbers as well.

Dellavedova’s offensive grade for 2019-2020 thus far: C

Next, let’s take a look into Dellavedova’s defensive performance for this season thus far.