Matthew Dellavedova had an Olympic campaign to remember, in one particular game he registered 23 points 13 assists with 0 turnovers on 88% shooting, a world class performance at any level. The boomers were playing some excellent basketball throughout the tournament even defeating France and Serbia who are ranked 4th and 3rd on the FIBA world rankings in the process. There is already a buzz about Delly and his potential before you even take into consideration what his new role at Milwaukee is going to be and who his mentor and coach is.
Matthew Dellavedova role in the squad and his new teammates
Delly made a name for himself playing off of Lebron and trying to cover for him when he inevitably needed rest. This is not a position that should be understated, to maintain your team’s level of play when they’ve gone from having the best player in the league to a shaky Kevin Love is no easy task. When on court Lebron is usually the primary ball handler and Delly is utilised in link up player and spot up 3’s. Something he is quite adept at, hitting over 40% of all 3’s last year.
In Milwaukee something similar is currently being constructed, the Giannis Antetokounmpo at point guard experiment is a massive ‘watch this space’ because the sheer dimensions of Antetokounmpo mean he has the potential to be a Super star. However, he isn’t ready to take on the point guard role full time and Delly is the perfect man to play alongside him and he did in Cleveland with Lebron James.
It’s no secret Delly is a pest on defence, he is able to switch and cover pretty much everybody who comes his way through his insane tenacity. Meaning he will be able to not only fill in for Giannis offensively when he is running the point guard position but also in defence. Last season as a back-up point guard Dellavedova registered 0.6 steals a game in only an average of 24 minutes a night, so in a more advanced role that focus on lock down defence turning to quick offence we will be able to see what this number increases to.
Delly proved at the Olympics that he operates excellently in a pick and roll if he has quality players setting screens and catching the ally-oops he throws up, Aron Baynes and Andrew Bogut helped massively in this department during the Olympics. At the Bucks Dellavedova will have Greg Monroe who when given the ball can pound the post, get the rim and go at a defender at any given time, and he will also have Miles Plumlee. Plumlee who just signed a new 4 year $52 Million contract and was recently identified as the starting centre by Coach Jason Kidd at the NBA Media day. Plumlee offers a different alternative to the other bigs on the roster that I think Delly will find very useful, Miles is an oversized energiser bunny who is in your face from the tip off. He roles hard to the rim and finishes strong, he is athletic too and is more than capable of getting up and catching ally-oops above the rim. This skill-set looks to be a perfect match for a Matthew Dellavedova in need of a lob catcher.
The strong screens that Plumlee sets mean that Delly will get plenty of opportunities to both get to the basket and open up passing lanes to dish it out to a cutting Jabari Parker or Giannis Antetokounmpo. Or of course put up that trademark floater that has been so successful for him in recent years.
So clearly Delly’s all round game has lots of room to grow with the others around him in Milwaukee, with an average roster age of 23 years old the development process is just beginning and Delly is already in the thick of it. However the greatest asset to his evolution as a point guard may not come from his on court performances, but rather from the guidance and experience coming from the sidelines.
Dellavedova’s new coach and the influence he’ll have.
Jason Kidd is the Head Coach of the Milwaukee Bucks but before that he was an All-Time great of the game, a sure fire hall of famer when his time comes around. The definitive point guard who played the position well and played it right, for Matthew Dellavedova to be under this man’s direction is incredibly valuable.
Kidd finished up his career nestle within the top 5 all-time lists for 3 different categories, he is 5th all-time in made 3 pointers, 2nd all-time in assists and 2nd all-time in steals. The foundations of what makes a steady point guard Kidd had mastered them.
Now when you highlight Delly’s strengths what are the three things you instantly thinking of?
Passing ability, tough defence and knock down 3 point shooting.. Sound familiar?
The Bucks friendly neighbourhood 3-and-D specialist Khris Middleton has recently been ruled out for a number of months meaning there is a hole for Delly to plug in the starting line-up. One that Kidd knows how to fill all too well from his firsthand experience. Jason Kidd will know how to utilise a player with Delly’s skill-set perfectly because of the similarities in their game, and also having watched the way he played with Lebron is crucial to the success of the Point Giannis experiment.
Essentially Kidd will be implementing a watered down, generic version of himself into a new Bucks system. And, keep in mind Dellavedova is a man who initially came into the NBA un-drafted and has worked tirelessly to get to where he is now. Those traits of dedication and effort mean that Delly will be listening and learning from Kidd as an eager apprentice, soaking up as much invaluable wisdom as possible.
Now it must be said that fitting into a new team and learning a new style of play is always a challenge and this can take some players’ time. However, Delly is coming into a team that is growing with him. Apart from Middleton’s injury that will heal overtime, it is not as though some integral pieces were lost or traded from the team and he is being bought in to replace them. Delly is coming into a team that is merely adding his skill set without losing anything else in his place, he is replacing Jerryd Bayless but Bayless was a 43% 3 point shooter and point provider off the bench, Delly’s slots in and fills these shoes nicely whilst also bringing along some extra elements.