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J.R. Smith details Matthew Dellavedova’s bravery in guarding Steph Curry in ’15 Finals

photograph: Cleveland Cavaliers/Twitter

JR Smith, a two-season teammate with the Cleveland Cavaliers, took a close look at how Matthew Dellavedova boldly accepted the impossible challenge of defending Stephen Curry in the 2015 NBA Finals.

Ash The guests On JJ Redick’s podcast “The Old Man and the Three,” Smith talks about how difficult it was for Dellavedova to contain the Superstar Shooter, and even mentions how a gritty security guard nearly died on a difficult mission. Did.

“I love Derry to death, but Derry couldn’t. Derry almost died protecting Stephen Curry,” Smith said. “No, literally almost dead. We have footage of this man being put in an ice bath.

“But he tried. Like he competed, he fought off his butt,” Reddick replied.

With Kyrie Irving sidelined in the final series after suffering a broken kneecap in Game 1, Dellavedova had no choice but to move forward and play in points for the disabled Cavaliers team. In addition to his high-pressure ball-handling role in the Championship Stage, he has an even bigger obligation to fulfill – winning the Most Valuable Player Award in that 14-15 regular season and earning a spot in the NBA for his divine shooting ability. It is to protect Curry, who has started the rise of the meteor. And a mysterious off-ball mechanism.

Delavedova stepped up a nasty and tenacious defense and initially succeeded in containing Curry. Despite Curry finishing with 19 points, he was limited to just five on 23 shooting as the Cavs split the series in a close game heading to Cleveland in Game 3.

Curry continued to fire into the next game for the Dubs’ first title in 40 years, averaging 26 points on 44.3% shooting, but Smith loved the tremendous effort the Australian Kager made. There was only respect. It just limits Golden State’s cornerstones for the rest of the finals.

“Just by looking at it, Delavedova is one of the greatest people I’ve ever liked,” Smith claimed. “He literally gave everything he had and no excuses.” It wasn’t like, “Oh, he just did it,” it was more like, “No,” “Oh, I’m trying,” or “No, no, no, no.” How hard he tried, he could hardly speak.

“That level of respect for me goes through the roof.”

Ultimately, all the pain and sacrifice paid off for Dellavedova a year later. He was included in the Cavaliers’ historic title run in his 2016, capped off by a retaliation against the Warriors.

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