Cavs: Matthew Dellavedova can often help Darius Garland be fresher later

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova passes the ball. (Photo by Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova passes the ball. (Photo by Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) /

Matthew Dellavedova has recently been back for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and that’s been nice to see. Dellavedova has missed most of the season thus far because of complications involving a serious concussion dating back to preseason and then him having to recover from an appendectomy.

It reportedly took Delly a while to get himself right and/or seemingly get in playing shape. He’s had other concussions in his career before that one, and the emergency appendectomy was another unfortunate ailment for him.

The veteran lead guard has been back, though, as he made his season debut in a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on April 1, and he’s typically aided Cleveland from a playmaking perspective in his burn.

Thus far, Dellavedova has averaged 4.8 assists in 18.9 minutes per game in eight appearances, one of which was a start in Sunday’s close L to the New Orleans Pelicans. In terms of totals, the Aussie has had 38 assists to just four turnovers, which hasn’t been too shabby.

His timing with his feeds has been on-point typically, and it’s aided those on the floor with him in his spurts/stretches at times, such as Collin Sexton, Kevin Love, whose recently been back, to go with Isaac Okoro and Isaiah Hartenstein, for example. We’ve seen some spurts even with Darius Garland with him, too.

Even though Dellavedova is not much of a scoring presence at this point, and his shot off-the-catch looks wishful as opposed to having conviction/viability, he still somehow routinely gets guys high quality looks in their preferred spots.

And with Jarrett Allen back, which was at the Charlotte Hornets in a W on Wednesday, he should get his share of easy ones in some run with Delly, too. Albeit that one was with Charlotte not having had LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward, who could both be out for the rest of the season due to wrist and foot injuries, but Charlotte does have its share of talent still.

What is crucial with Delly back in a general sense, though, is how he can aid Garland in keeping him fresher to a degree for later on in games. Now wasn’t the case realistically in the Cavs’ loss on Thursday versus the Golden State Warriors, where that pace definitely played into them pulling away, but often, Dellavedova can help Garland be fresher later.

Delly being back can often help DG be fresher later on in games/crunch time.

Clearly, while it wasn’t the case on Thursday and he seems mostly healthy, though it was the second leg of a back-to-back, and Garland missed Sunday’s game due to a right ankle sprain, he has been getting it done for the Cavs.

He had seven assists, but Darius was only 7-of-20 on Thursday; albeit he had 18.8 points per outing in his last 13 games active prior to that on 46.7 percent shooting, and hit 43.9 percent of his three-point attempts. He continues to demonstrate further growth as a playmaker, too.

Garland’s had 5.9 assists per contest on the year, and had 6.2 helpers per outing in that aformentioned span.

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And as KJG’s Matthew Fagan highlighted, Darius having Kevin Love back in the fold of late only aids the young lead guard more, both in the scoring and also playmaking sense.

That’s not been the case much this season because of right calf injury complications/soreness, but Love appears to be getting very comfortable.

Circling back, though, it’s been nice for Garland to have had Dellavedova back recently to aid in easing some primary playmaking burden for spurts/stretches.

Delly is again not a scoring presence, but has done a very nice job in helping get others high quality looks in games when he’s been in there. And him doing so in middle stretches of games does, generally speaking, allow Garland to be fresher later on as games progress.

That’s enabled him to come up with key plays, both as a scorer, but as a playmaker, too, in some instances in crucial stretches.

In that realm, that W over Charlotte comes to mind, and to an extent, that aided DG/the Cavs’ efforts in pulling away in their victory at the Oklahoma City Thunder on April 8.

And while he definitely was cruising in a career-best 37-point performance at the San Antonio Spurs on April 5, Delly handling primary playmaking for stretches did enable Garland to look for his shot more in-game, which is meaningful as games progress.

I’d imagine that playmaking help from Delly should continue to provide a lift for the Cleveland Cavaliers in upcoming games, too. In addition, in some instances with him, that’s allowed Garland to look for shots, both off-the-catch and via rhythm dribbles, a bit more as well.

Along with Garland, as a side note, Dellavedova’s presence has seemingly aided Collin Sexton, too, and particularly as a cutter, which has been nice to see. And hopefully Sexton, who had missed the Cavs’ past two games due to a left groin strain before Thursday, is mostly fine looking onward.

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Moreover, it’s been a key positive for Garland to often be fresher later on in games for the Cavaliers to have had Delly back from a playmaking/depth standpoint, and that should continue to be the case, so long as Delly can stay healthy. The same goes for Garland, although he seems mostly healthy now.