The hustle is still there, sure, but Dellavedova has made huge strides in both his shooting and ball-handling ability. He's leaped ahead of veteran Mo Williams on the depth chart, serving as Cleveland's first guard off the bench.
And while his numbers have improved each season, it's Dellavedova's three-point shooting, assist-to-turnover ratio and on/off rating (the measure of a player's offensive and defensive impact per 100 possessions) that stand near the top of the NBA among some big names.
As of Jan. 6, Dellavedova was seventh in the league in three-point percentage (43.9) and sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.26). This kind of shooting puts him just one spot below Stephen Curry and ahead of players such as Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Paul George. His ability to take care of the ball has exceeded that of Tony Parker, John Wall and assists leader Rajon Rondo.
Bleacher Report recently caught up with the 25-year-old Australian to talk about stats, his improved jumper and whether it's fair to compare his shooting percentages with Curry's.
Bleacher Report: How much do you look at your personal statistics?
Matthew Dellavedova: Not much. I mean, every now and then. I look at turnovers, what percentage you’re shooting because you want to be efficient and then plus/minus. Ultimately, that’s what really matters, if you’re winning or losing.
B/R: Do you ever look at the league leaderboard to see where you rank in certain stats?
B/R: Does anyone ever tell you where you’re at?
MD: I mean, you guys do. (laughs)
B/R: What have they been saying about three-point percentage lately?
MD: (Smiles) It’s been going all right so far.
B/R: Have they told you some of the names you’re up there with?
MD: No, but I could probably guess.
B/R: There’s this guy in Golden State who you’ve had a better three-point percentage than for much of the year.
MD: My looks are a lot easier than his, though.
B/R: Fair enough. Do you ever look at that and think, wow, that’s pretty good.
MD: Umm, I mean, I’m pretty happy with how I’m shooting right now. I don’t think it’s fair to compare (me to Curry). He’s the main focus of the opposition, whereas I’m getting a lot of open looks because of guys like Bron and Kev and Kyrie. We’re playing much different roles so I don’t think it’s fair to compare.
B/R: Your three-point shooting has gotten better every year in the league, but this season it’s made a huge leap. Do you feel like your quicker release is the main reason for this? You said you didn’t change anything in the mechanics, right?
MD: Yeah, I didn’t change anything. Just continuing to work on my shot. I think the quicker release has helped a little bit. I have improved it each year, and you always want to keep improving. I think if you put in the time and think about where you’re getting your shots in the offense on the court, and where the passes are coming from and work specifically on those kinds of things, that’s where you’re really going to find the improvement.
B/R: Do you ever look at on/off rating? Have you heard of that stat?
B/R: Do you know where you rank on the team right now?
MD: I don’t.
B/R: You’re second next to LeBron. It measures both offense and defense. He’s plus-22.5 right now and you’re plus-16.5. By that metric you’re the second-most valuable player on the team. (Note: Irving has since passed Dellavedova.)
MD: Well, I mean, there’s tons of statistics out there.
B/R: There are, but you know who led the NBA in that stat last year?
B/R: Curry (plus-17.8).
B/R: It’s a pretty important stat, and you’re second on the Cavs.
MD: You just always want to help the team out any way you can. I’m sure with those stats there’s a lot of other things involved. The NBA keeps so many stats, you can find anything to make anyone look good.
B/R: If you could pick one stat, what’s the most important thing you look at?
MD: Plus/minus. That’s the object of the game.
Greg Swartz is the Cleveland Cavaliers Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter, @CavsGregBR. All quotes are originally obtained. Stats via Basketball-Reference.com unless otherwise sourced and are current as of Jan 6.
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