Boomers star Matthew Dellavedova ready for his expanded role at Melbourne United

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Melbourne hoping to bring back 'Saint Mary's Delly' (2:40)

Matthew Dellavedova and coach Dean Vickerman discuss the more aggressive scoring role he'll take on with Melbourne United, compared to his time in the NBA. (2:40)

During the third quarter of Melbourne's NBL Blitz opener against the New Zealand Breakers, Matthew Dellavedova backed down his opponent on the right side just inside the 3-point arc. The marquee United acquisition spun baseline before dishing underneath the help defender for an easy and-1 finish for Jo Lual-Acuil.

It was simple play execution, but for those that have watched Dellavedova closely through his NBA career, you would recognise that type of opportunity on offence has not always been commonplace.

With just two NBL Blitz games in the books for United, Head coach Dean Vickerman enthusiastically discussed the development of mixing in different looks for Dellavedova, as he continues his integration with the United roster.

"He had a post-up in practice the other day and I thought that looked pretty good," Vickerman said with a smile.

"Right now, he's really good at trying to understand how we play. Trying to incorporate himself into what we do and then it'll grow through the season.

"I love the way he's approached it so far; he's been a sponge about the way we operate, and we'll have more discussions as the season goes along about how we can expand."

Dellavedova is embracing what is set to be an expanded role from his time in the NBA, with the Melbourne franchise losing Jock Landale, Mitch McCarron and Scotty Hopson in the offseason among others.

"We have some great scorers in (Chris) Goulding, Jo (Lual-Acuil) and Caleb (Agada). Part of my job is getting them the ball and keeping them organised but also looking for ways that I can score and put pressure on the defence as well," Dellavedova said of his new role.

"It is fun doing different things, having a couple post ups here and there which I haven't had since St Marys. Dean has pushed and encouraged me to try different things and work on different parts of my game."

Along with the odd post touch, the veteran will be spearheading a pick-and-roll combination with last season's Best Sixth Man, Lual-Acuil, who moves into the starting lineup to replace Landale.

"I hadn't seen much of Jo before coming in. When we were away with the Boomers I spoke to Goulding a fair bit about United and Jo came up a lot," Dellavedova revealed.

"Getting here, he's been killing it. He's so skilful and his touch is really good. I think he's in for a big season, I've been really impressed with not only his game play, but his work ethic. We're continually developing our chemistry in the pick-and-roll. I think we've already developed a good, open line of communication that will only get better."

Vickerman knows what he can expect from Dellavedova on a nightly basis. He will defend, compete on every possession, and facilitate to a high level, but he believes utilising Dellavedova as a scoring threat in the offence will be imperative if the team are to maximise their full potential on that end of the floor.

"As the lead guard and the passer that he is, I just believe if everybody plays you as a pass first guy, they can take away the other avenues," Vickerman said.

"If he has that really good balance of scoring and being that threat and does well at that, it collapses [the defence] and then he gets the other part that we want in making others better."

Long-time Boomers teammate and United star, Chris Goulding scoffs at any doubt that Dellavedova can have a major impact in a more prominent role in the NBL.

"I've been around him long enough. I've seen him hit seven threes in a game at the Olympics or World Champs. He's got other strings to his bow and if he needs to bring it out, he will," Goulding said.

"With Delly you get a few things. He works hard, competitiveness, he's a beast, he's on another level. He'll rip your head off to try and win.

"He's smart, he studies the game, his IQ is through the roof. If something goes wrong, he'll watch film and make sure it doesn't happen again. He's overall work ethic and the way he understands basketball is just on another level."

Dellavedova has spent significant time in the offseason preparing his body for the rigours of an NBL season, having battled several lower body injuries in combination with a serious concussion in recent years.

"I've been lifting a lot of leg weights, trying to get more explosive. Having this extended period to lift weights has been really good and I've built up a good base. I've also tried to get lighter which I've done. I know the NBL pace is quicker than other leagues in the world so adapting to that and trying to prepare for that has been good."

In addition to the up and down style of play in Australia, the 31-year-old is aware of the fact he hasn't topped 20 minutes per game across a season since 2016-17, his first season with the Milwaukee Bucks.

"Dropping weight was more about playing more minutes than I did in Cleveland and the pace of the game, picking up full-court on both ends compared to the NBA which is a bit more free and controlled."

For now, at least, United are preaching patience with their new-look roster and star point guard, but as far as Dellavedova is concerned, he feels as good as he has in a significant period of time.

"There's definitely challenges and there will be ups and downs like there has been in training when I'm experimenting. But I feel like I'm already a better player. You can feel yourself getting better and growing so I've really enjoyed it so far."