4.7 PTS (12) | 2.6 AST (4) | 1.7 RBS (13) | 0.5 STL (10) | .83 TOV (2)| .534 TS% (4) | 17:39 MPG (10)
Well, not a strong start for the rookie in terms of the base stats. I think that the ranks on the team are a little bit more truthful to the season that Delly had. Obviously, Matty D was not a scorer, nor was he often asked to be one, averaging only 4.1 attempts per game. The numbers that you love seeing are the assists and turnovers, giving him a 3.13 AST/TOV ratio (for comparison, CP3 is one of the best in the league at 4.65). For a rookie to have such great control of the ball, and affect the team in a very positive manner without scoring is incredible. There are some downfalls in his game of course though, primarily in rebounds and points, but we can overlook those to an extent, given that he is still a undrafted rookie. To delve a bit further, let’s look at what these numbers look like at a per-36 minute per game rate:
9.6 PTS (11) | 5.3 AST (2) | 3.5 RBS (12) | 0.9 STL (9) | 1.7 TOV (6)
Again, nothing special, although we do see that Delly does jump up to second in assists on the team. To add to this, also consider who he was playing with when he had most of his minutes. The 5-man rotation that Delly had the highest minutes with was Jarret Jack, Dion Waiters, Andy Varejao, and Tyler Zeller. Not exactly the best shooting lineup on the team when you look at the individual players (far from it). The shocking thing though was that the field goal percentage of that lineup was .213% better than the average lineup per 100 possessions (for perspective, that’s .167% higher than any other 5-man rotation). Simply put, Delly is a fantastic distributor.
Now that we’ve looked at the stats for their face value, let’s see how Delly impacted the team overall, in terms of wins and losses. Again, if you’ve read through the Bennett analysis (you can read it here: Bennett Analysis), take some of these stats with a grain of salt, and look at them past just the numbers on the page. Here’s the correlation of Delly’s basic statistics to the team Win/Loss percentage:
I think that what stands out the most here is the affect that Delly had on the game with his defensive rating. Having a correlation here below -.5 is tremendous (note, for DRTG, a negative correlation is good, as it means that the opposing team scored less per 100 possessions). I think that we all saw a bit of a maniac and a pest in Delly on the defensive side of the ball, reminiscent of what Varejao brings night in and night out. Delly has the ability to absolutely annoy the hell out of an opposing point guard, and that apparently has a great effect on the team winning games. Delly's defense is a foil to what we often see with Kyrie, Jack, and Waiters. Delly has something that the rest of the guards don’t: an absolutely undying and brutal motor on the defensive side of the floor.
If you look at Dellavedova's average DRTG over the course of the season, he actually ranks the worst out of all 13 major players on the team though (111 DRTG, whereas Andy had a team best of 103). Why is he so terrible on average, yet had a pretty significant impact on the team's winning percentage? I believe you can attribute it to Delly having to cover the opposing team's SG, as opposed to PG, as well as only having limited minutes. In limited minutes, the stats get quite skewed (one game in particular where Delly had 143 DRTG was accumulated over a total of 53 seconds). In games where Delly had a DRTG below his average of 111, the team won 20 out of 28 games.
If Andy and Delly's effort on the defensive side of the ball could somehow spread to the starters, you would probably see a perennial playoff team. Until that happens though, we may never have anything more than an average playoff team (unless they can bring in another all-star caliber player).
Looking into the future, we see that an increase in minutes could help Delly out quite a bit. The only areas where Delly does not improve are rebounding (shocker) and blocks (double shocker). I’m incredibly impressed that Delly continues to improve with his defensive rating. This is another example of a player that was underused with Mike Brown last year, and another player I’m worried about reaching his full potential, though his impact on the defensive side of the ball probably helps him stay in Brown’s good graces.
TLDR: Delly has a limited offensive ceiling, but can control the offense incredibly well and has the potential to be a lockdown defender if he continues to progress.