Through his hard work at practice and tenacity on the court, Matthew Dellavedova has earned the respect of his Cleveland Cavaliers teammates.
From the time guard Matthew Dellavedova first stepped on a court representing the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Summer League in 2013, he has given everything in his six-foot-four, 200-pound frame to better himself and the team.
And it is how he plays, not how many points he scores, that impresses his teammates and coaches most.
"I love how Delly plays," guard Dion Waiters said after the Cavaliers' 106-100 victory over the New York Knicks Sunday night. "Once you see that, I just try to go out there and take charge, be a leader on the defensive end.
"We know hard he works. We see it every day. He's one of the first guys in. All of the rookies have been doing a tremendous job getting in early and getting their work in. We notice it. We know hard Delly works on the defensive end. He's getting better every game. Every game, he's getting better. That toughness and that tenacity that he has, he just needs to keep that and just continue to work hard."
An undrafted free agent signee of the Cavaliers in the summer, Dellavedova scored nine points on three of five shooting in 26 minutes against the Knicks, who had been on an eight-game winning streak until the Cavaliers came to Madison Square Garden. But it is what he did on the defensive end of the floor -- which does not appear on the stat sheet -- that helped the Cavaliers break a four-game losing streak.
"I thought Delly was big for us, especially in the second half with some of the things he did," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said. "His on-ball defense was phenomenal. They were playing pick-and-roll, and they were able to get downhill, and we were committing the second guy, sometimes, the third guy and Raymond Felton was just finding guys on the perimeter, and Delly came in and did a nice job on the basketball."
Dellavedova is not one to rest on the laurels of past accomplishments.
Whether the Cavaliers have won or lost the night before, the Australia native is known for putting in extra work to better his game. Following practice, Dellavedova is often seen shooting long-range shots with Cavaliers coaches on a side hoop at Cleveland Clinic Courts in Independence.
"He's been phenomenal," Brown said. "The sky's the limit for him because he works so hard. The big steal he had, we turned the ball over. They've got numbers. He's not the fastest guy in the world, but he comes out of no place, gets the steal for us, and now, we're going back the other way. The stuff that he does for us on the floor doesn't always show up in the stat sheet, and he's what a winner is.
"He's going to have a long, long career in this business because of the fiber that he's made up of. He's gotten better every, single day. He watches his film every day. He works on his game on the court. You can see it. You can feel it, not only as a coaching staff, but his teammates feel the same thing too. The respect he has on our team is unbelievable."