The way Matthew Dellavedova got under the skin of Cavaliers’ opponents the past couple seasons, he used to get under the skin of Kyrie Irving during practice. Dellavedova only knows one way to play, and he practices that same way — it led to shoving matches where coaches stepped in. Nothing serious, but these two guys know each other well.
Which makes the USA’s game Wednesday against Australia in the Rio Olympics all the more interesting — Dellavedova and Irving will be matched up on one another.
Irving said he knows what is coming, via Marc Stein of ESPN.
“Delly’s gonna compete,” Irving said. “That’s all he knows. I’m used to that already [from Cavaliers practices], so I don’t see it as him being feisty or him being a pest. He’s gonna do what Delly does.”
Dellavedova — who signed with Milwaukee as a free agent this summer — had 23 points and 13 assists in Australia’s win over Serbia. But he’s also not the only guy in the Boomer’s backcourt the USA needs to worry about — Patty Mills of the Spurs had 26 points in the Serbia win. Through the first couple games in Rio, Australia has looked like the second best team in the games.
Through the first couple games in Rio, Australia has looked like the second best team in the games. In part that’s because they also come with quality size along the front line — Andrew Bogut and Aaron Baynes. Two more guys, like Dellavedova and Mills, with championship rings.
The USA is still more athletic and much deeper, but this is the toughest test the Americans have faced so far.
You can catch the game at 6 p.m. Eastern on NBC Sports Network, or you can stream it live at NBCOlympics.com.