4. Matthew Dellavedova
Matthew Dellavedova became an unsung hero during his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, as he made 41 percent of his threes during the Cavs’ 2015-16 championship season. Dellavedova made 40 percent or better from deep in two of his first three seasons in the league, with the lone exception being his rookie season, in which he made 36.8 percent.
Dellavedova signed with the Milwaukee Bucks prior to the 2016-17 season, and posted 3-point percentages of 36.7 percent and 37.2 percent, making him a natural fit within the Rockets’ 3-point heavy system, and especially alongside two willing passers in Russell Westbrook and James Harden.
Dellavedova proved to be a pest of a defender, as he made a living by getting under opposing players’ skin, with his tough, physical play. This was on display in the 2015 NBA Finals, and particularly in Game 2, when his defense on Golden State Warriors sharpshooter Stephen Curry was suffocating, to put it politely.
Curry went 0-for-8 from the floor when defended by Dellavedova, including 0-for-5 from three, which played a large part in him missing 13 threes, which was an NBA Finals record. Dellavedova held the Warriors to 3-for-15 shooting, and 0-for-6 from deep as a team, when defended by the 3-and-D reserve.
Dellavedova also single-handedly forced six Warriors turnovers, while serving as the primary defender, drawing praise from LeBron James, who cited his defense as a large reason why the Cavs won the game.
James stated, “It had everything to do with Delly. He kept a body on Steph. He made Steph work. He was spectacular, defensively.”
Dellavedova’s defense would be a welcome sight for the Houston Rockets, who lack stellar defenders on their second unit, not to mention his ability to knock down the 3-point shot.
Next: No. 3