While Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova has been unable to play this season, both Collin Sexton and Darius Garland say that the advice offered by the veteran has been invaluable.
Following the Cavaliers’ 112-109 road victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night, Sexton spoke about how Dellavedova has been able to offer the team leadership even though he’s been unable to take the court.
“He’s one of those that comes in each and every day and you know what type of Delly you’re gonna get,” Sexton said. “He’s going to be happy, he’s going to let you know if you’re messing up. Just going to continue being that great guy. Having Delly back around, it’s amazing. Just going to try to continue to string games and wins along so he can come back and slide right in.”
Garland, who had one of the best games of his young career versus the Sixers, indicated that it’s great to have someone else on the sideline who players can learn from on top of the team’s coaching staff.
“Delly sees everything,” Garland said. “When he sees someone open, he’ll tell you that in the timeout. ‘You missed that guy in the corner.’ He’s always reading the game, he’s gonna put people in different positions to get a win. Delly, he’s a winner. So whatever you do to win, he’s gonna do it. And that’s what he was trying to communicate to us tonight that we have to just put people in different positions to get this win. We stuck with it, we listened to him. It’s just fun having him over there, having another ear, another voice to talk to instead of the coaching staff.”
In addition to concussion problems, Dellavedova has also had to deal with a recent appendectomy, which has kept him from using his acquired knowledge on the court. The concussion problem has been a major concern, considering his NBA career appeared to be in jeopardy as a result.
Those concerns have often kept him away from the Cavaliers’ bench for much of this season, but his return has seemingly played a large role in the Cavs’ current three-game winning streak.
Dellavedova was signed by the Cavaliers as an undrafted free agent in 2013 and quickly showed an aggressive approach and enthusiasm that were appealing to both teammates and Cavaliers fans.
After signing with the Milwaukee Bucks as a free agent in 2016, Dellavedova was acquired by the Cavs in late 2018. While his on-court numbers have never been outstanding, it’s clear that Dellavedova’s value to the team goes far beyond the stat sheet.