Tuesday May 26th, 2015

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova has developed a reputation of being a "dirty" player, after getting caught up in skirmishes with Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson and Atlanta Hawks Kyle Korver and Al Horford this postseason. 

76ers and former Australian men's national team head coach Brett Brown, who has known Dellavedova for years, told Sirius XM NBA Radio Tuesday that the guard's play isn't dirty.

"In Australia you’re taught 'body, body ball,'" Brown said. "Their body, your body, the ball. You've got to but your body between their body and the ball. The ball is sacred. He's going after the ball with Krover, he's boxing Horford out the other way,  about 10-15 feet. Taj Gibson rolls and he’s trying to get into Taj’s legs after they switch out on the pick-and-roll. All those plays, him scissoring Taj’s legs, that’s a Bruce Bowen thing, you know?

"But in regards of calling him dirty or trying to hurt people, it ain’t even close. It’s just a very unfair assessment and he’s just got to continue to do what he does."

In the wake of Kyrie Irving's injuries, Dellavedova has emerged as a key contributor to Cleveland's postseason run. The St. Mary's product is averaging 6.8 points and 2.8 assists in 22.2 minutes per game these playoffs after going undrafted in 2013. 

The Cavaliers can advance to the NBA Finals with a win over the Hawks in Game 4 on Tuesday night. 

- Jake Fischer

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