Blogtable: Your view on Matthew Dellavedova?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

BLOGTABLE: Can LeBron pass MJ? | Your view on Dellavedova | Recruiting target for Celtics?

VIDEOIs Matthew Dellavedova scrappy, dirty or somewhere in-between?

> Cleveland’s Matthew Dellavedova is: A) a dirty player; B) a scrappy player; C) somewhere in-between.

Steve Aschburner, I’ll take C. Dellavedova doesn’t go out intending to hurt opponents, but he does play recklessly in a way that can jeopardize other players’ well-being. His leg clamp on Taj Gibson‘s leg in the East semifinals showed Dellavedova is no innocent – he knows how to be sneaky and get under foes’ skin – and his repeated involvement in incidents and mishaps is no coincidence. That said, a lot of too-cool players in this league would be well-served if they brought as much energy and assertiveness to their games.

Fran Blinebury, Somewhere in between, though I would come down more on the dirty play side who is hiding behind LeBron’s skirt.

Scott Howard-Cooper, A scrappy player. The pattern is troubling and has me leaning toward a dirty player, more than I would have imagined before. But I think dirty is about intent, and I don’t think Delly has been trying to hurt anyone. He has seemed more out of control, attaching himself to Al Horford like that, but not intentionally injuring opponents.

Shaun Powell, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and call him scrappy, but his grace period is over with one more questionable collision with a player. I wonder: LeBron was so vociferous in his defense of Delly, but suppose it was LeBron and not Al Horford who got hit? Or LeBron and not Kyle Korver? Or LeBron and not Taj Gibson? What would LeBron say then?

John Schuhmann, Somewhere in between. He plays hard, values every possession, and makes the most of what he’s got. When you do that and you’re not as coordinated as the average NBA player, you’re going to get under the skin of your opponent.  He’s First Team All-Irritant.

Sekou Smith, Can I go with D, all of the above? Seriously, Delly doesn’t deserve the nefarious tag of being “dirty.” That’s a loaded statement and doesn’t mean the same thing it did in the NBA of old. That used to be a badge of honor. It has a totally different meaning in the can’t-touch-him defensive era that we live in now. All that said, there is a certain brand of justice for guys who play the way Dellavedova does, and it’s called a screen that loosens your Chiclets. You return fire for his “hustle” play with a pick that rattles his skull. And if LeBron James or anyone else wants to cry foul, remind them that whoever set the screen is just hustling and playing hard and doing whatever it takes, within the rules, to help his team win.

Ian Thomsen, He isn’t dirty. Just about any retired NBA player over the age of 40 would tell you so: I’m betting that (1) they would respect him for seeking contact and diving for 50-50 balls, and (2) they would complain about a culture that condemns those plays as dirty.

Lang Whitaker,’s All Ball blog: I hesitate to call him “dirty,” because that means we aren’t judging his actions but his intent, and nobody out there can read his mind, no matter how much they yell on Twitter. So without tagging him as “dirty,” I will say this: When a network is able to put together a package of clips on any given topic — like, in this case, some questionable plays — there’s probably some meat on that bone. Dellavedova is the kind of guy you love to have on your team and hate to play against. And as long as he’s playing alongside LeBron James, he’s got at least one high-powered advocate making a case for him.


  1. Joel Stapley says:

    Really NBA? You’re going to use Isaiah Thomas to critique whether not a player is playing dirty?

    Detroit – lead by Isaiah – played so ruthlessly that they named it “the jordan rules”. Players from that team have even come out years later to admit that yes they purposely tried to hurt Jordan in order to stop him.

    Yet the NBA thinks people don’t remember the 90’s and what Isaiah did?

    (not the least of which is Isaiah’s speaking about unwritten rules of conduct, despite infamously leading his team off the floor before the game was finished against the Bulls. that speaks volume to Isaiah’s own ability to maintain the unwritten rules of conduct).

    What a joke.

  2. johnny dawson says:

    The NBA does not show the entire film on the Horford incident. They need to do that. Horford gave Delly an elbow to the throat, and then, pulled him down to the ground. Delly boxed Horford out, and this was how Horford dealt with it. Given that Horford maliciously pulled Delly to the ground, Horford hardly has standing to complain about the particulars of how Delly hit the ground. The elbow to the throat that proceeded falling to the ground, by itself, was enough for a flagrant on Horford.

    As to Korver, Korver was too lazy to dive on the ball. He is a highly paid player, so perhaps Korver thought himself to valuable to dive for loose balls. Delly crashed into Korver’s legs because that was the path that the ball took. Korver followed the ball, nothing more.

    As to Taj Gibson, Delly baited him in to a retaliatory foul and Gibson kicked at his kidneys. Basketball is a mental game. Without self control a basketball player cannot produce, no matter how tall, athletic, or well paid he is.

    Three cheers for Delly!

  3. Skrutz says:

    Jeeez, no one has an eye for subtle motions or physics it seems. Horford didn’t pull him, and he definitely did push himself off into Korver and Horfords knees. It seems like it needs to be a full charging dive for anyone to notice the small actions.

  4. Luiz says:

    The thing that made me angry was the ejections of Taj and Al. If it weren’t against the Cavs it wouldn’t be ejections. Seems like the league really wanted Lebron in the finals.

  5. harriethehawk says:

    He’s the grown up version of the boomerang throwing wild boy who was Mel Gibson’s sidekick in the Madd Maxx movie.

  6. NBA fan says:

    Hustle is one thing, but not caring if you injure other players is another.

    There’s a line when hustle becomes plain old recklessness, and I think he crossed that line a few times way too many times already during the playoffs. Who’se next…the MVP Curry being tackled?

  7. jdub455 says:

    he aint dirty but he is very rough and he does not care about welfare of the player on the other team… curry should take care…

  8. Love_the_BIGO says:

    I don’t like the way I saw this guy (on multiple replays) consistently throwing the full weight of his low center-of-gravity body into the knee and ankle area of opposing players. He seemed to be doing this with repeated multiple jerks and hops into the other player. It looked to me like he was trying to hurt somebody. It could just be hustle, but then again, the moves were always very suspiciously similar. At least the league is now on notice. This guy will be watched closely from now on, thank goodness. I just hope Kyle Korver was his last casualty. Probably a lot could be learned from looking at the guy’s history. Has he hurt other people before? Obviously, the League doesn’t need somebody who is out to hurt people.

  9. jake s. says:

    The eastern conference belongs in the D-League.

  10. Cougr Hockey says:

    Delly is a no talent bum. He’s one of the many reasons why I want the Warriors to crush the Cavs.

    Did you notice that the Bulls gave the Cavs their toughest struggle so far? That shows how good a coach Thibs is.

  11. Cougr Hockey says:

    Delly is a dirty player. No talent…just trash.

  12. Sean says:

    @Troy has the right of it.
    Small players who aggressively box out big players cause the bigs to cry foul, or eventually retaliate because it puts them off balance when the go over the top of the small for the rebound. This is why Taj shoved him, and why Al Horford dragged him to the ground. Curry did it to Howard and since Howard felt the contact low he expected hop easily to get the ball, and found out differently. Thats why he looking for someone else to blame after he fouled. If Horford put more effort in, instead of ball watching as the shot went to the ring, he was have had a better position to jump upwards and would not have been off balance.

    Kyle Korver bent over, stepping with his closest leg to the ball. If Delly was a little slower to the ball, Korver would have pulled and twisted away from Delly in that exact same motion. It was an accident due timing and more hustle by 1 player, and less hustle by the other. If you watch childen/beginners play, they place the ball in their stomach, bends over and twists away from the defence so the defence can’t reach it, because they instinctively know the defence cant put their hands through their body to get it. In the video I.Thomas explains how they are taught to get low/dive to grab the ball, but he forgets to say what happens when a competing players is also diving. They will twist and pull the ball away from the other player.

  13. john paterson says:

    It’s Incredible how nobody has noticed that in the video of Al Horford incident you can see clearly that the dirty guy has a chance to stay in a place and stop things there but if you see carefully he re-positions both his feet as to use the ground to lunch himself with great force against Horford while making believe his arm is in a lock. this clown I am pretty sure if needed, was ready to re-position both his feet again to lunch from the ground one more time.. check the video and see his legs.
    it’s a shame Horford and Gibson were ejected as the result of such un-sportman provocations

    • Skrutz says:

      Yeah, I don’t know how people can’t see the subtle push offs he did. It’s like when people cant see the top of the arc of the ball on a goaltend – the physics should be apparent if you look. He’s falling, and pushes off, on both occasions. He should fall to one place, but you can see his centre of gravity shift in a way only possible if he’s adjusting himself and pushing off. Resulting in ejections and injuries.

  14. jill says:

    Delly is just an overachiever who wants to demonstrate that he can mingle with the big cats. He has a big heart and by no means wants to hurt anybody, He is tenacious, that fights of every possession with all his might. And as we have seen he can accomplish results with such a big heart and hard work. We should admire his ethics and value his stubbornness. Many talented players with the heart of this kid can become super stars.

    • Skrutz says:

      “…by no means wants to hurt anybody…”

      but he really doesn’t care if he does, which is an issue.

  15. Troy says:

    1 – Tell me any player who wouldn’t have reacted to being pushed near into the basket support system with more then the tiniest of leg locks? Are we really saying that a light leg lock that he broke very easily is a callous act? I hope not

    2 – In Aussie Rules Football we have a thing called a “hard ball get” which would equate to a sliding loose ball in basketball. Players slide for balls in a lot of games with no repercussion he just did a way that he didn’t have to go face first into Korver’s shin. We also call it ‘getting lower, harder” which is what Korver maybe should have done. If he doesn’t dive for that loose ball, in a conference final game with it ‘all on the line’ by the way (not that the Hawks treated it like that) then he runs the risk of getting drilled by the public and coaching staff for not going for it. It was unlucky that Korver got caught under him. Watch this for the near on same thing except that the result is different but the action is the same:

    3 – If I’m not blind (which I’m not) then you can clearly see Horford drag him down by his arm and then drop all his body weight intentionally onto him. No one to blame but Horford on that one. If he wants to get him back then getting ejected hasn’t achieved that at all and in fact he’s got you again.

  16. The Voice Of Reason says:

    Hi @SHowardCooper, can I have your job PLEASE? You write rubbish that proves you don’t actually watch the games. Delly didn’t “attach” himself to Al, it was the other way around and then as he was being pulled down, he tripped over Carroll. I’m not a Cavs fan at all and personally (as a dedicated baller), I think he’s toeing the line to dirty ever-so-close on other plays. But it sickens me that you get paid to watch games and write and you can’t do it properly.

  17. dustydreamnz says:

    I’m not sure yet, Aussie players often have a bit of mongrel. Andrew Bogut for example. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though.

  18. SirLansALot says:

    Delly fights for the ball all over the floor and wins it.. Griffin should take a lesson from him, as he’s always on losing side of these tricky situations..

  19. Donald says:

    If Korver wanted the ball as much as Delly he wouldn’t have an ankle injury right now. He went in half hearted

  20. DeeBee says:

    It’s hard to believe anyone watched the replay.

    It is clear the Dellavedova keeps hopping into Horford which is why he winds up almost spraining Horford’s ankle and wrecking his knee with that one hop.

    Without the hop, he would have fallen to the ground instead moving laterally the extra yard to jeopardize Horford’s career, or having you people says “Horford locked him in” !

    Horford must be Superman to stopping Dellavedova from dropping with just his arm laying over Dellavadova’s sweaty shoulder without any way to lock it in.

    The replay views from the other end of the floor clearly discloses the hop factor – note how the hop causes Horford’s whole body to “jounce”.

    • Davo says:

      It would be nice if you watched the reply with 2 eyes open.Also try and stop someone at least 7 inches taller and 50 pounds heavier from dragging you back with 2 hands on your arm.I might have taken your argument a bit more sreriously if you didn’t make up words-“jounce’.Really?

  21. truth says:

    okay his hustle is admirable but … he just dives at opponents knees injuring them in the process … why would you roll over on opponents knees every loose ball

  22. Benjamin says:

    He’s not dirty. The Taj Gibson thing was just sneaky like someone called it. Trying to get under their skin. The Korver incident was the worst of the incidents and can be called wreckless. The fall on Horford was clumsy but he WAS being pulled by Al. He is not trying to hurt guys, I don’t think, but I agree that he should get rid of his rugby moves.

  23. dghi says:

    No.1 Delly never played rugby, he grew up in an area where Australian rules is played. That rugby call is just media hype.
    No.2 The Gibson leglock occured after Taj Gibson had shoved him to the ground. The leglosck was out of order, but he reacted and was not the instigator. BLAME = shared
    No.3 Korver was unfortunate, but as Shaq and Sir Charles have agreed, they dived on the floor all the time, A bit of hustle would help some of the lazy players in the league. BLAME – Delly accidental
    No. 4 Horford was ;azy and got boxed out (something that a lot of current players have forgotten to do, along with not travelling) by a guy 8 inches shorter and 20kg lighter, then gets annoyed and drags him down by the arm and then drops a dirty elbow. This is the dirtiest play of them all – BLAME = Horford, intentional elbow.

    We should be talking about Horford dropping an elbow on a guy on the floor, rather than Delly

  24. Greg says:

    People are saying he is a dirty player… If he is dirty then you would of heard about him doing this stuff all season. He dove and shielded the ball from Korver, thats not dirty. Horford dragged him down, if you people would look at the one angle they showed once during the broadcast (Baseline view) you would see that. Smh

  25. Pétrus says:

    I don’t know, i really see him as a dirty player, i play basketball too, ok, i don’t play in the nba, but i understand the meaning of playing hard. I never have injuried someone going for a loose ball and everytime i go, the other player often get out of the way, because the risk of hurt is really high. I may be imaginating things, maybe he isn’t a dirty player after all and never had the intention of hurt Kyle Korver. But the hustle on Taj Gibson and throwing himself on the ball and ended up rolling on Korver’s leg were too coincidencial in my point of view

  26. jOLAN says:

    He isn’t dirty, he is gritty. Like Lebron said, a player pushes him when he is in the air, and he didn’t get hurt, so nothing came of it. But if he fell, it would of been a big deal. That player intentionally pushed Lebron in the air, thats dirty to me. Delly getting tangle with taj wasn’t (wrapping up his leg after is cheap, wasn’t anyway he would of hurt him). Horford was the one grabbing Delly, I like what Ian Thomsen said about no one retired NBA player over 40 calls him dirty.

  27. Roger tornga says:

    Rugby is his training and its hard to unlearn his training. Any of those moves would have been mild in a Rugby Scrum.

    I don’t think he ever intended to roll so as to hit someone’s legs. He would have had to have eyes in the back of his head.

    Personally, I love his hustle. He’s one of the Jerry Sloan’s of the world. Or Vernon Maxwell. Or Tony Allen. Or Rodman.

    I appreciate LeBron sticking up for him.

    I agree with Ernie. The only video clip that I thought was over the line was the one with Gibson, but I still feel that was rugby instinct. He’ll have to eliminate that reaction from his repertoire.