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Matthew Dellavedova’s first game in his second run with the Cleveland Cavaliers was about what you’d expect — lots of hustle, lots of leadership running the offense and just general scrappiness.
Still, things were a little clunky, or maybe even a lot clunky, as the Cavs (6-21) were never really in it and dropped a 108-92 decision to the host Milwaukee Bucks on Monday.
“I was just trying to call the few plays that I know and keep us organized,” Dellavedova said, via Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “I was just trying to keep talking to the guys and string some stops together in the paint. We probably did a better job of that in the second half.”
Dellavedova finished with 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting, with four assists, in 16 minutes.
Once one of the Cavs’ young energy guys, his job is now to push Collin Sexton in practice and show the rookie how to run the offense like a pro.
“He’s going to pick up 94 feet (defensively) and if you leave him open he can shoot the three,” center Tristan Thompson said. “In the pick-and-roll he’s going to make the right play, whether it’s the floater, the lob or the cross-court pass for a three. So he’s good for the second unit.”
Thompson is now out for two-to-four weeks with a sprained ankle, an injury he suffered in the loss. Before exiting Monday, he finished with 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting.
Thompson and Dellavedova have always had a special on-the-court connection, Delly often driving to the middle of the lane and lobbing a pass toward the rim for Thompson to finish.
“I’m happy he’s here,” Thompson said.
That appears to be true of all the Cavs, as Dellavedova has been in this situation already. While the Cavs may not win much this season, players such as Dellavedova will help with important aspects such as energy and culture.
And it took all of one game to see that.