Get to know Gilas foes Dellavedova, Maker of the Bucks
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 02, 2018 01:42 PM
Matthew Dellavedova (L) and Thon Maker NBA file photos
For the first time since FIBA shifted to the home-and-away qualification system for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Gilas Pilipinas will be taking on some genuine NBA talent.
Milwaukee Bucks players Thon Maker and Matthew Dellavedova are reinforcing Australia in the current international competition window, bolstering a squad that already beat the Philippines in Australia 84-68.
Not only do the Boomers have more firepower, this game will have higher stakes too. Both Australia and the Philippines have 4-1 records, and the winner of this game, set for later today at the Philippine Arena, will get the top seed in Group B.
Get to know more about the Aussie NBA duo below:
NBA draft: Undrafted in 2013
Previous international experience: 2012 Olympics, 2014 World Cup, 2016 Olympics
Versus Japan (6/28/18): 22:11 minutes, 4 points (2/11 FG, 0/5 3FG), 3 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers
Dellavedova had a storied collegiate career while playing for Saint Mary's College of California, having been a one-time conference Player of the Year, and a three-time all-conference first team member. However, he had to make the NBA the hard way after going undrafted.
"Delly" impressed during a 2013 Summer League stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers, to the point where the team gave him a two-year deal. The 6'4" guard though really made a name for himself in LeBron James' first season back in The Land, when his scrappy, physical level of play was highlighted in Cleveland's run to the 2015 NBA Finals. At one point, Dellavedova was even getting hailed as a "Stephen Curry stopper," though the Cavs would lose the Finals in six games.
The following season, Dellavedova helped the Cavaliers make history, as they stormed back from a 3-1 Finals deficit to get revenge on the Golden State Warriors and lift the Larry O'Brien trophy. Unfortunately though, the team was unable to re-sign him, instead working out a sign-and-trade that sent him to the Milwaukee Bucks in the summer of 2016.
Injuries have prevented Dellavedova from so far having a big impact playing alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, but his toughness and peskiness should allow him to challenge the Gilas guards.
2017-18 NBA averages: 38 games, 4.3 points (36.2 FG%, 37.2 3FG%), 1.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists
NBA draft: 10th pick in 2016
Previous international experience: None prior to this window
Versus Japan (6/28/18): 26:39 minutes, 13 points (5/13 FG, 1/4 3FG, 2/4 FT), 12 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 turnover
Prior to joining the NBA, Thon Maker was already an internet sensation. The towering big man had the handles of a guard, but his path to the pros was not the smoothest. Instead of going to play in the US NCAA, Maker spent an extra year at high school after graduating, in order to satisfy the league's eligibility rules. When the league ruled that he could enter the 2016 Draft, he was picked 10th overall by the Bucks, who envisioned a Wingspan Brothers combo with Antetokounmpo.
One interesting thing about Maker is that while he's been largely inconsistent in the regular season, he's become something of a "magic bunot" for the Bucks in the past two postseasons.
In 2016-17, Maker averaged a mere 4.0 points and 2.0 rebounds. Come his first Playoff series though, his numbers leapt up to 5.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.8 blocks. This past season, we got a repeat of that feat. Maker normed just 4.8 points and 3.0 rebounds in the regular season. When he finally got to play in the postseason though, he averaged 5.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks. If the Aussies get the Playoffs version of Maker, guys like Andray Blatche and June Mar Fajardo had better watch out.
2017-18 NBA averages: 16.7 minutes, 4.8 points (41.1 FG%, 29.8 3FG%), 3.0 rebounds, 0.7 blocks.
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