Dellavedova to sit out again, NBL return date set

Matthew Dellavedova, the star of Melbourne United, is set to miss another round of NBL action due to his recent concussion. However, he’s aiming for a return in the following week.

Dellavedova’s recovery from the head injury he suffered in round three is progressing well, and he has passed all medical assessments according to his club. Despite this positive news, the NBA championship-winning guard will be sidelined for at least two more games as Melbourne United, currently leading the ladder with a 6-1 record, faces off against Tasmania on the road and Illawarra at home in round five.

Coach Dean Vickerman explained, “He’s completed individual workouts, passed all concussion tests, and received medical clearance, but he has not yet engaged in contact practice. Therefore, we anticipate his return is likely another week away.”

Fans can look forward to Dellavedova’s return in Melbourne United’s home match against the Perth Wildcats on November 6. In his absence, the nominated replacement player, Rob Loe, will continue to be part of the Melbourne squad for their upcoming game against Tasmania at MyState Bank Arena on Friday.

In a remarkable turn of events, the JackJumpers (4-2) have catapulted themselves into the coveted second position in the NBL standings. This surge followed a resounding away win against the Sydney Kings last week.

The standout performer in this electrifying encounter was none other than Jordon Crawford, whose scintillating performance left spectators in awe. Crawford made an unforgettable impact by nailing four consecutive three-pointers at the beginning of the final period, effectively swinging the game in Tasmania’s favor.

Crawford, the American guard, concluded the game with a game-high 32 points, solidifying his position as a significant threat, particularly with the absence of Dellavedova in the United backcourt.

As the JackJumpers prepare to face United in a highly anticipated top-of-the-ladder matchup on Friday night, all eyes are on Shea Ili and Ian Clark. They will bear the responsibility of containing Crawford’s influence and curtailing his scoring prowess.

Coach Vickerman shared his strategy for handling Crawford, stating, “Our primary objective is to deny him open three-point opportunities and force him closer to the paint, where he’ll encounter tougher shots. However, Crawford’s agility and ability to create space, similar to Bryce Cotton, pose a challenge. We’ve conducted thorough scouting, and we’re hopeful that our preparations will translate to success on the court.”

It’s worth noting that Tasmania stands as the sole team to have defeated Melbourne this season. The JackJumpers secured a memorable 80-75 victory on United’s home turf at John Cain Arena in round two. During that game, Crawford contributed 18 points, while his backcourt partner, Milton Doyle, delivered an impressive 25-point performance.

As the JackJumpers continue to make waves in the NBL, the upcoming clash with United promises to be a thrilling battle at the summit of the league standings.


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