LeBron James came to his teammates defense Matthew Dellavedova after Sunday night’s Game 3 victory. He refuted suggestions that Mathew Dellavedova was a dirty player.
“I’m a little bit off about it because this is my guy, this is my teammate and this is a guy that goes out and works his tail off every single night and people are trying to give him a bad rap,” James said while sharing the podium with Dellavedova following Cleveland’s 114-111 overtime win over the Atlanta Hawks. “He doesn’t deserve it and I don’t like it.”
Bookmakers Solutions have the Cavs at 21/10 after their resounding win to go all the way. And with the grit of players such as Dellavedova, LeBron has a chance to get his 3rd championship. Meanwhile Online Bookmaking Solutions have the Atlanta Hawks in a deep hole with odds of 85/1.
Dellavedova got tangled up with Atlanta’s Al Horford with a few minutes to go in the first half. It seems that Dellavedova was trying to box out Horford, He then fell to the floor after tripping backwards over Atlanta’s DeMarre Carroll- who was already on the floor and into Horford’s right leg.
Horford’s response to the contact was elbowing Dellavedova. After the referees review the incident. They assessed Horford with a flagrant 2 foul and ejection. Dellavedova also received a technical foul for the altercation. Horford’s ejection was explained by chief referee Ken Mauer and it was deemed as such because “He made contact above the shoulders, to the shoulder and head area, of Dellavedova.”
For Dellavedova’s technical Mauer explained: “We felt that he made contact with his head and shoulders into the knee area of Horford. So we ruled that a live-ball physical taunt technical foul.”
This play comes a game after Dellavedova collided with Atlanta’s Kyle Korver while diving for a loose ball causing a season ending high right ankle sprain.
“I saw the ball [on the play with Korver]. I dived on the floor,” Dellavedova explained after Game 3. “If I stay on my belly, it’s going to be a jump ball. So I protect the ball and kick it out to a teammate.”
James goes onto explain why Dellavedova was right on both plays “Well, you just play the game the right way,” James said. “At this point, you try to do whatever it takes to win. You don’t want to hurt nobody. No one, I think, in our league goes around trying to hurt people. But you don’t take the aggressive nature out of the game.
“I think in the case of [Dellavedova], ever since you were a kid, the ball on the floor, the first man to the floor usually gets the ball. There’s no difference to what Delly did to Kyle Korver last game and 18 guys diving on the floor late in the game tonight. It was like six or seven guys diving on the floor for that loose ball. Delly was on the floor, J.J. [James Jones] was on the floor, Mike Scott was on the floor, Shump [Iman Shumpert] was on the floor, J.R. [Smith] was on the floor. Just no one got hurt.”
“And there’s no difference between me boxing out, or Al Horford boxing me out and Delly boxing someone out. That is a fundamental box out. That’s all it is. And we all know that. We don’t never want to play with the integrity of the game and try to get people hurt. That’s not what it’s about. Because we all want brotherhood at the end of the day, an NBA family. But you play to win the game and you play aggressively. That’s what it’s about.