J.R. Smith on Matthew Dellavedova’s competitiveness: ‘He was literally about to die in the playoff’

Matthew Dellavedova

Cleveland Cavaliers fans adore former guard Matthew Dellavedova.

In addition, his former teammates seem to have great respect for him as well. In a recent conversation with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, Cavs champion J.R. Smith gloated about Dellavedova’s status as a competitor.

“I ain’t gonna lie,” Smith said when talking about competing. “Dellavedova on my team in Cleveland, he competed harder than anybody I’ve ever seen in my life, bro. He was literally about to die in the playoff. … We in the back after the game. Steph [Curry] almost killed this man.”

Dellavedova, 31, last played in the NBA during the 2020-21 campaign.

He suffered a severe concussion in the 2020 preseason, which was a big setback for him. He holds career averages of 5.5 points and 3.7 assists per contest.

The guard made a name for himself during the 2015 NBA Finals when the Cavs took on the mighty Golden State Warriors.

Then-Cavs star Kyrie Irving was held out for the majority of the 2015 Finals. In Irving’s absence, Dellavedova did his best to step up. He averaged 7.5 points, 2.7 boards, 2.7 assists and 1.2 steals per game during the series. He got a lot of people talking with his defense on Curry.

Although the Cavs lost in six games to the Warriors in the 2015 Finals, they bounced back in a stellar way during the 2016 NBA Finals. Cleveland overcame a 3-1 deficit and heroically defeated the Warriors in seven games.

Dellavedova played in 20 games during the Cavs’ 2016 postseason run. He gathered averages of 3.9 points and 2.8 assists per contest during those playoffs.

Of course, fans know that Dellavedova often made an impact in ways outside of flashy scoring and assists. His tenacious hustle, defensive prowess and leadership skills never went overlooked.

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