Today we learned that Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova would be added to the Rising Stars, Rookie/Sophmore, USA v the World game (whatever we’re calling it now) in New York, which lead me to two things.
- This is awesome and totally deserving for Delly
- What does J.R. Smith think?
I addressed both, but I caught up with his Cavaliers teammate J.R. Smith after their 113-93 pummelling of the Miami Heat to get his thoughts on Delly’s All-Star Weekend accolade and what awaits in the Big Apple.
BK: So JR, you’re going to be in New York for the All-Star festivities?
BK: You got any tips for Delly in New York?
JR: ….. I do but I just gotta tell him, I gotta keep it one-on-one, I can’t tell everybody them secrets.
BK: So you’re gonna look after him in New York then?
JR: Yeah for sure, I got him.
For starters, this sounds like the BEST.THING.EVER. Picked in the World team and rolling to the city with the King of New York, JR Smith = all of the fun.
All-Star Weekend x J.R. Smith x New York, sounds like the best reality TV show and almost the most fun a human being is capable of experiencing.
But in all seriousness, Delly deserves to be in New York on Friday night as not only just reward for a great first half to the season as a key rotation cog in a contending team, but also as a beacon for the NBA’s latest trend of ‘team-first basketball’ which has been made sexy by the Spurs, Warriors and Hawks of late and is rubbing off on the new-look Cavaliers.
After a game where seven Cavs finished in double figure scoring, JR heaped praise on Delly making it into the Rising Stars game and as a seemingly reformed ‘shoot-first ask questions later’ player in Cleveland, JR seems to have bought in to the teamwork that is making the Cavs the steamrolling force we are seeing develop before our eyes and Delly’s gritty play is just one facet of that.
“Man he’s been playing great,” JR said.
”Especially since I’ve been here. He works hard, he comes in everyday ready to work, he’s a great teammate so I’m happy for him, I’ll go out there and watch.”
The pair sit side-by-side in the Cavs locker room and seem to have built a rapport as two guys from polar opposite places, with polar opposite games, both contributing to a winning situation.
Earlier this season LeBron James echoed J.R.’s sentiment regarding the Cavs back-up point guard and his value to the team.
“Heart and effort will take away a lot of the things that you cannot do. I’ll take a guy like that [Delly] any day on my team.”
Since the end of last year after returning from injury, Delly has been shooting over 50 per cent from the three-point line, brought his patented toughness on the defensive end and served as a solid back-up to Kyrie Irving.
Below shows the efficiency Delly produced from three-point range in January.
He’s not going to do anything flashy at the Rising Stars game, but when you look at what’s working and entertaining in today’s analytics driven NBA. It’s picking passing lanes, finding an open player for an efficient three-point shot and operating the pick and roll with a big man to get an easy look at the rim. Delly’s place in the event may be questioned, but its definitely deserved.
Just ask J.R.