Matthew Dellavedova is one of the most controversial Cavs when it comes to our commenters. It's a bit of a bummer because, on the whole, he's been a high performing role player. Considering his undrafted status a few year's ago, he's one of the league's true success stories. He's a good spot up shooter and he gets under the skin of opposing guards. He's a backup point guard with a bit of positional versatility. Almost all of the Cavs' top defensive lineups include him.
Well, it turns out that Dellavedova is pretty controversial around the league as well. Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times did an informal poll of players, coaches, and executives, and Delly received a majority of the votes for league's dirtiest player.
The 24 people who spoke anonymously — some of them voted for more than one player — listed their top five dirtiest players:
Dellavedova received 13 votes. Oklahoma City center Steven Adams was next with seven votes. Golden State center Andrew Bogut (5), Memphis forward Matt Barnes (4) and Oklahoma City forward Serge Ibaka (2) rounded out the top five.
I do not believe that Matthew Dellavedova is a dirty player. I do think that at times he plays with a sort of reckless abandon. For a guy who has to utilize every bit of athleticism he's been gifted with, there's a different level of urgency and energy with the way he defends. The fact that he does it so well without over-committing or finding himself out of defensive position is incredibly impressive. Unfortunately, it leads to hard contact at times.
After Dellavedova (again, I don't think there was anything malicious about it at all) ended Kyle Korver's season and got into playoff dustups with Al Horford and Taj Gibson, polls like this were sort of inevitable. I'm sure Delly will keep playing the same way, and the Cavs will continue to benefit.