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Matthew Dellavedova’s performances in the 2015 NBA playoffs didn’t just give people ammunition for criticisms about his style and enable a highlight-worthy duel with Stephen Curry. They also underlined the imperfections in his outside shooting.

But after converting on 31.6 percent of three-pointers during the last postseason, Dellavedova is shooting 43.2 percent on triples in 2015-16.

“The playoffs and Finals last year showed me what worked and what didn’t work and what I needed to improve on coming into this season,” Dellavedova said during a conference call with Australian media on Monday.

While Dellavedova shot 40.7 percent from distance last regular season, that number dropped during the Cleveland Cavaliers’ playoff run, and he went 6-of-26 from deep in their losing effort in the Finals against the Golden State Warriors.

The Australian point guard—who had no comment on a recent Los Angeles Times poll that named him the league’s dirtiest player—now sits eighth in the NBA in three-point accuracy for ’15-16 and is averaging 1.4 successful triples a game through 37 matches.

That progress can be partly explained by his increased familiarity with his teammates. Last season was his first playing with LeBron James, Kevin Love, J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Timofey Mozgov, and also his first under head coach David Blatt.

“The second season with this same group playing together, you know where your shots are going to come from,” Dellavedova said.

His work in between matches includes taking shots that are akin to those he gets in games. He shoots practice triples that are initiated by a pass from the top of the arc or the wing by one Cavs employee and then contested by another.

Dellavedova’s time away from Cleveland with the Boomers, a team that gives him different responsibilities, has also contributed to his improvement.

“Also playing with the Boomers in a different role, getting asked to do different things, being more aggressive, looking to score and create for teammates, I think that’s also good for my development,” he said.

A consequence of efficiency from the outside is there’s more room to operate a pick and roll, a play Dellavedova excels within.

“The pick and roll isn’t going to work without proper spacing, and one of the best things to help spacing is having great shooters,” Dellavedova said.

The Cavaliers have four other players — Love, Smith, James Jones and Richard Jefferson — shooting above 36 percent from deep and are ranked eighth in the league in three-point percentage. Having shooters on the floor deters would-be help defenders, meaning there’s more room for Dellavedova to find a rolling Tristan Thompson.

LeBron James is shooting just 30 percent on threes, but the four-time league MVP still has a résumé that suggests he’s worth learning from. Dellavedova has gotten the chance to do that as his teammate over the last year and a half.

“Probably the biggest thing that I’ve learnt from talking and just watching LeBron is how well he takes care of his body,” Dellavedova said.

“That’s definitely something I’ve tried to pick his brain on, just so you can prolong your career and get the most out of yourself as well.”

In Dellavedova’s third NBA season since he went undrafted out of Saint Mary’s, he’s improved his per game numbers for assists, rebounds and steals and is on track for a career-best in field goal percentage. He’s also a noted defender with a defensive rating of 95.7 this season. But the three-point numbers for Dellavedova, who hit 38.2 percent of his threes in his senior college season, might be his most impressive.

Despite being in the company of J.J. Redick, Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Curry on the NBA’s three-point accuracy leader board, Dellavedova isn’t keen to take part in the three-point contest at next month’s All-Star weekend in Toronto.

“I don’t know if the All-Star three-point contest would really suit my shooting style because you’ve got to get up a lot of shots in a short amount of time,” he said.

“I think I’m just going to go enjoy some warm weather and the other guys can worry about that.”


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