NEW ORLEANS: Matthew Dellavedova will start at shooting guard tonight when the Cavaliers face the New Orleans Hornets. It appears to be both a reward for Dellavedova's hard work and a clear message that Dion Waiters' role as a backup will be long term.
Dellavedova will start in place of C.J. Miles, who missed this brief two-game trip with a strained calf muscle. Brown elected to start the undrafted rookie ahead of guys like Waiters and Jarrett Jack.
"I'll just try to do the same thing, be ready to play, come out and provide some energy and hope to set the tone," Dellavedova said.
It will be the Cavs' sixth different starting lineup in 13 games.
Brown heaped praise on Delly the last two games, first for making such a significant impact on the game despite a meager stat line in the Cavs' victory at Washington on Saturday; then for being the only guy to play hard the entire time he was on the floor during Wednesday's loss to the Wizards, when the Cavs trailed by as many as 27 points.
As for Waiters, this seems to signal his move to the bench could last for some time. When asked prior to the game against the Wizards if Waiters' move to the bench was temporary or permanent, Brown said "I can't say anything is temporary or permanent right now. We're just going to coach by feel ... There's nothing permanent in this business."
* This also means the undrafted Dellavedova will make an NBA start before No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett. it has to be the first time in NBA history an undrafted rookie started a game ahead of the top overall pick on the same team.
* "I'm just thinking too much," Bennett said this morning. "That's what it is right now. I try not to mess up. There's a lot of plays, a lot of things thrown at me. It's not the same as college. One mistake is kind of crucial."
* Bennett is doing his best to remain upbeat despite shooting 13.5 percent (5 of 37) this season. "I have great teammates, a great coaching staff," he said. "There’s no point hanging my head. I just have to get better."
* The Cavs have no intention of sending Bennett to the Development League, a team source said. He's going to stay right here and try to figure out his troubles.
* The Pelicans have done a nice job of rebuilding following the trade of Chris Paul. They have a solid backcourt with an All-Star point guard and a dominant forward with Anthony Davis, who allows them to get creative defensively. "You know that you have Davis at the rim protecting everything so it's a team that will gamble a lot, play the passing lanes, look to try to create steals to score in transition," Brown said. "We've got to make sure we're smart with the basketball and not force anything, and then when we do drive it with Anthony Davis at the rim, we've got to try to attack his body because he's going to be there all night."