Matthew Dellavedova achieved folk hero status last year in the playoffs, scrapping and fighting for the Cleveland Cavaliers both off the bench and as a starter. Delly still wasn’t all that good of a basketball player, but for those who care more about “grit” and “hustle,” Delly was a dream come true. Count Derrick Rose among the players unimpressed by Dellavedova’s intangibles.
When he was asked about his match-up with Delly following Tuesday night’s season opener, Rose didn’t bother hiding his smile as he replied “it’s no match-up.” Honestly, it’s a testament to Rose’s willpower that he didn’t do anything more than smile, because he looked like he was about to burst out laughing.
In 20 minutes of action, Dellavedova scored six points (on 3-of-8 shooting), grabbed four rebounds and dished four assists. Rose, by contrast, had 18 points on 8-of-22 shooting to go along with five assists. Delly and Mo Williams played Rose tough, which is why it took him 22 shots to get to 18 points. Keep in mind, though, Rose was playing with a mask and maybe even some lingering double vision.
The simple fact of the matter is that this isn’t even a match-up, because “match-up” implies the players going at each other are of equal — or at least similar — quality. Rose, at his best, is an elite player. Dellavedova, at his best, is a good backup point guard. Kyrie Irving and Rose is a matchup. Rose and Dellavedova is just something that happens during a game.