The Cavaliers Will Likely Never Win A Title With Matthew Dellavedova On Their Roster
Back in January, the Los Angeles Times conducted a poll to find the dirtiest player in the NBA, and guess who came in first? The 24 NBA players and coaches surveyed voted Matthew Dellavedova on top with 13 first-place votes. (Steven Adams was second with 7).
This doesn't surprise Andre Iguodala, who was on the receiving end of one of Dellavedova's love pokes in Game One of the NBA Finals on Thursday. Delly was going for the ball (he says) in the third quarter, when he missed and slapped Iggy in the basket.
Iguodala was mad at the time -- producing the playoffs' best photo, by Getty, above. But after the game he was diplomatic. Sportsnaut:
“I’m not going to judge or say anything negative about him,” Iguodala said. “He’s out there competing. There are a lot of emotions going on out there. I respect a lot of guys’ hustle in this league. You’ve got guys who’ve got to get a little dirty, got to be a little physical, to make a life and to feed their family, so I can only respect that. For me, it’s just keeping my composure and continue to try to do things for my team to help us win.”
You don't need to read between the lines to catch the word "dirty." But you do to see what Iguodala is really saying: that a player with very limited talent has to make up for it by playing like an extra in Gangs of New York.
For his part, Dellavedova said that it's "crazy" to think that anyone would believe he did that to Iguodala on purpose. Really? Then why was this one of the anonymous responses in the LA Times poll?
“He’s as dirty as they come,” a Western Conference coach said. “When you’re hurting people, that is not OK.”
It may fly in the Eastern Conference, but when you play the tougher teams in the West, Delly becomes counter-productive -- that kind of play just motivates the better teams. Example: After Dellavedova hit him in the crotch with 38 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Iguodala hit a 3 before the quarter was over, and then a 2 to open the fourth quarter. An six-point Warriors lead became 11, and soon 20.
Of course Dellavedova isn't the only one in the playoffs doing questionable things -- just ask Steven Adams' testicles. But when Draymond Green says that he's not kicking people on purpose, it's easier to believe -- Green is one of the most talented players in the NBA. He doesn't need to be scrappy. Dellavedova does.
Which begs the question -- how is Dellavedova a key part of any NBA Finals team? You kind of understood last season in the Finals, because the Cavaliers were short-handed due to injury. What's their excuse now? It smacks of desperation. Having Dellavedova on your team is the NBA roster equivalent of the shrugging-man Twitter emoji.
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