Quantifying Matthew Dellavedova's Impact on the NBA Finals
You can't measure heart.
You can't measure desire.
And in many ways, those intangibles are what Matthew Dellavedova is bringing to the NBA Finals for a depleted Cleveland Cavaliers team.
But digging into his statistics evidences both his impact and the fact that his hustle and grit are blinding the world from some inefficient play.
Shots Defended Per Game: 12.7
If it feels like Dellavedova is all over the court and impacting significant possessions, that's because he is. Dellavedova is defending 12.7 shot attempts per game in the Finals, which is tied for fourth-most among players who have played in at least two games of the series.
And as we're all aware, he's making things particularly difficult on the league's most lethal shooter: Stephen Curry.
Opponent Field Goal Differential: -13.0%
Opponents are converting on just 34.2% of shots against Dellavedova so far, which is again fourth-best in the Finals among the nine players who are defending at least 10 shots per game. So he isn't standing alone as the biggest shutdown defender in the Finals, but opponents are shooting 13.1% worse against him than they did against other players this year.
That again ranks fourth -- but still is the fifth biggest gap among the 17 players who defend at least 5 attempts per game.
Opponent Three-Point Field Goal Percentage: 17.6%
Opponents -- again, this is the Golden State Warriors we're talking about -- have converted on just 17.6% of three-point attempts against Dellavedova, who is defending 5.7 per game. Shooters are performing 25.9% worse with Dellavedova on them than they typically do, and that's the third-biggest disparity in the Finals.
Defensive Rating: 92.8
Only two players have averaged more than 20 minutes and played in at least two games and have a better Defensive Rating than Dellavedova: Andre Iguodala (89.3) and Barnes (91.3).
Turnovers per 100 Possessions: 17.4
Dellavedova is doing plenty on the defensive end -- and chipped in for sure with 20 points in Game 3 -- but his offense isn't all stellar. Only Festus Ezeli's turnover rate of 18.0 per 100 possessions is worse than Dellavedova's so far. Curry's rate is 15.5, but his usage rate of 30.1 dwarfs Delly's usage rate of 18.6.
Offensive Rating: 93.8
His Offensive Rating of 93.8 ranks just ninth among the 12 players who averaged at least 20 minutes and played in two or more games of the Finals. In fairness to him, the bottom five players in Offensive Rating are all Cavaliers, so his offensive impact is about on par with the team, but that's not necessarily a good thing.
The Delly (Factor)
Warriors Points per Possession Without Dellavedova: 1.119
In 118 Finals possessions with Dellavedova on the bench, the Warriors posted 1.12 points per possession. Of course, most of these possessions came in the Warriors' Game 1 victory at Oracle Arena, but they have been scoring at their typical elite rate -- with a 51.9% Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) -- with Delly on the pine.
Warriors Points per Possession With Dellavedova: 0.920
Golden State's eFG% has been just 43.9% with Dellavedova on the floor, and their points per possession has plummeted as well. At that rate, their Offensive Rating (92.0) would have been about 3.5 points worse per 100 possessions than the Philadelphia 76ers' offense from this year, the worst in the league.