Tristan Thompson stands up for Matthew Dellavedova after career game vs. Nuggets
It has been a rough season for Cleveland Cavaliers veteran point guard Matthew Dellavedova, but the Aussie delivered in a big way in a surprising 104-102 victory over the Denver Nuggets. The Cavs guard recorded a career-high 14 assists starting in place of the injured Darius Garland, and he also hit a clutch 3-pointer to finish with seven points and also six rebounds in a stellar all-around effort.
Dellavedova was coming off a wretched performance in a loss to the Boston Celtics in which he missed all eight of his field goal attempts. He’s shooting just 34.8% overall and 20.5% on 3-pointers this season, with that 3-point percentage well below his career mark of 36.7%. Delly may be feeling the pressure of still trying to prove he belongs in the NBA, but Cavs veteran big man Tristan Thompson doesn’t think the guard has to prove anything and made it a point to bring that up after Saturday’s win.
“You don’t have to prove s—,” Thompson said. “Know what you do. You can always play in this league. As long as you want. Can always play on my team.”
Dellavedova appreciated the “gas” from Thompson, who knows firsthand just how much Delly means to Cleveland. The two were on the 2016 title team, with Dellavedova playing a key role off the bench with his shooting and defense.
Dellavedova became something of a cult hero to start his career thanks to his grit and ability to make key plays. While his career has taken a downturn of late, the 29-year-old showed he can still make a positive impact when he’s playing well, something Thompson knows all too well.
The Cavs moved to 18-45 on the season with their win over Denver. Cleveland has earned wins over quality teams in the Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat since J.B. Bickerstaff took over as head coach.