Who is the NBA’s Dirtiest Player?

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CHICAGO, IL - MAY 14: Matthew Dellavedova #8 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts in the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bulls during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at United Center on May 14, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Matthew Dellavedova
(Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The NBA’s dirtiest player isn’t the league’s most respected award. This is the player with a playing style that tends to injure others. They repeatedly aim at player’s knees, and take tough plays too far. Dirty players are targets to take shots from others. 

24 anonymous NBA coaches, assistants and players conducted a poll from the Los Angeles Times on their top 5 dirtiest players. Here were the results.

Dellavedova received 13 votes. Oklahoma City center Steven Adams was next with seven votes. Golden State center Andrew Bogut (5), Memphis forward Matt Barnes (4) and Oklahoma City forward Serge Ibaka (2) rounded out the top five.

Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Matthew Dellavedova was voted the NBA’s dirtiest player. I can understand why.

It all started in Game 2 of the 2015 Eastern Conference Playoffs. Matthew Dellavedova and Kyle Korver were going after a loose ball. Dellavedova dove at Korver’s right knee.

Dellavedova threw his shoulder into Korver’s right knee and threw his back down on his leg to bend his right ankle. When Dellavedova had possession of the ball, he swung his lower body into Korver’s spinning his body. Korver was struggling to move after that hit. He was out for the remainder of the Eastern Conference Finals. 

Next was Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Al Horford and Matthew Dellavedova got tangled up when fighting for a rebound. They remained tangled up, and both players fell to the ground. 

Dellavedova was falling down on Horford’s body, and stayed with him from the paint to the free throw line. It was clear Dellavedova was making an effort to drive his body into Horford’s knee.

Once Dellavedova passes DeMarre Carroll, he pushes his leg into the ground, pushing his body into Horford. After that boost, Dellavedova’s shoulder banged into Horford’s knee. Horford’s knee was bent, resulting in him falling to the ground on top of Dellavedova. The elbow didn’t help Horford as he was ejected from the game. 

Finally, Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Draymond Green set a screen on Dellavedova and Green threw an elbow. Dellavedova fell to the ground and dove at Draymond Green’s knee once he was low enough to the ground. 

Green immediately fell to the ground. He immediately got up looking for the wide open three-point shot. The knee shot could’ve been much uglier. Green was wrong for throwing an elbow, but this proves Dellavedova is aiming for other’s knees. 

Matthew Dellavedova’s playing style puts other players at risk. He is a repeat offender at knee shots and takes tough plays too far. He injured Kyle Korver’s knee, and aimed at Al Horford and Draymond Green’s knees all in last season’s NBA playoffs. He is now a target to take cheap shots from others. Congratulations Dellavedova, you own the award no one in the NBA wants to own. 

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