2015 NBA Finals: Stephen Curry Has No Answer For Matthew Dellavedova


Stephen Curry has a new blanket, and it has a name: Matthew Dellavedova. The Cleveland Cavaliers back-up point guard–thrust into a starting role after Kyrie Irving‘s season ending injury–further etched his place into the hearts of Clevelanders with another gritty postseason performance.

First, there was Curry. The MVP was 5-of-23 shooting and 2-of-15 on 3-pointers. When he exclusively guarded by Delly, Curry was even worse.

To get the most exciting player in the league to play his worst game of the season…there just aren’t enough superlatives to describe just how valuable Dellavedova was.

And then he hits the two biggest clutch free throws in the 44-year history of Cavs basketball to seal the first win in a championship series by a Cleveland team since the Indians defeated the Marlins in Game 6 of the World Series on Oct. 25, 1997.

Clearly, LeBron James is the MVP of the postseason. He’s recorded stat lines never known by NBA players. But if James is No. 1. Delly is 1A.

He scraps and claws for EVERYTHING. The guy Colin Cowherd basically called the worst starter in NBA Finals history flew out of nowhere to fight for the James Jones miss that led to that memorable trip to the charity stripe. He scraps. He claws. When your undrafted out of tiny Saint Mary’s College, that’s the mentality you have to have.

And LeBron knows the edge Delly plays with  gives him confidence on the biggest of stages, via Fox Sports:

"“Obviously he’s a guy that’s been counted out his whole life. People have probably been telling him he’s too small, he’s not fast enough, he can’t shoot it well enough, he can’t handle it good enough, and he’s beat the odds so many times. The confidence that we have in him allows him to be confident in himself. He goes out and he just plays his tail off, and when a guy like that does that, he gets great results.”"

Remember, Game 2 didn’t start out all that well for Dellavedova, who was originally matched up against Klay Thompson. The other half of the splash brothers has a a three-inch height advantage over Delly, and that was obvious as Thompson knocked down jumper after jumper in Delly’s face during the first quarter.

The Cavs made the switch to put Delly on Curry because David Blatt really had no other choice. The result: Delly annoying the bejesus out of Curry.

After the game, Curry was not ready to give Delly his due, so maybe the Aussie will have to force Curry to take more bad shots like this before he finally gets some run.

When asked what Delly did to contribute to Curry’s awful night, the reigning MVP responded:

"“Nothing really…Just besides playing their game plan and playing defense like every pro is supposed to. Not giving up on any possession.”"

Dellavedova’s taken a lot of heat thought the season for being perceived as the worst player on an uber-talented roster. Yet, when it matters most, it’s Delly making plays, time and time again.

Delly will have his struggles. He’s far from perfect. But because of him, the NBA Finals will be a series–and it can go either way.

Next: Mailbag: Cavs Title More important Than Browns, Indians?

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