Dellavedova cleared for NBL finals return

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Melbourne United star Matthew Dellavedova insists he's good to go for the NBL finals despite undergoing surgery last week to have several teeth removed.

Dellavedova missed Saturday's upset 83-61 loss to the Tasmania JackJumpers after having his wisdom teeth out four days earlier.

The former Cleveland Cavaliers star trained fully on Tuesday and he's been declared a certain starter for game one, in Melbourne on Thursday, of the best-of-three semi-final series against the JackJumpers.

"I just had to get them out. I'm all good," Dellavedova said.

Melbourne coach Dean Vickerman said Dellavedova won't be on limited minutes.

"He had three teeth out, so his mouth was pretty blown up,'" Vickerman said.

"Probably 90 per cent of the swelling is gone, so he had a full day of practice today and he'll be good to go.

"I don't think he will be affected in any way."

Vickerman was glad Dellavedova had the surgery before the finals.

"If he didn't have the surgery he was going to be dealing with pain killers and all kinds of things," Vickerman said.

"So I think we made the right decision to go and get it done."

Fellow veteran David Barlow (concussion) is also set to return for United, while Vickerman is hopeful Jack White (soreness) will be cleared to play.

Dellavedova has averaged 10.6 points, 4.9 assists and three rebounds per game in his maiden NBL campaign to guide United (20-8) to top spot, giving them an excellent chance to defend their crown.

"Personally as the season has gone on I've improved as a player," he said.

"It's tough to only have four teams make the finals.

"We're definitely excited to be in, but the goal is to win a championship and that starts with Thursday night."

The JackJumpers qualified for finals in their rookie season, after beating United on Saturday and watching the Perth Wildcats lose in overtime to South East Melbourne Phoenix on Sunday.

The Wildcats would have been guaranteed of finishing fourth if ladder-leading Melbourne had beaten Tasmania.

The way things panned out means United will face the JackJumpers in the semi-finals instead of the dangerous Wildcats, but Vickerman insists he had no preference.

"None at all. I never tried to play that game," he said.

"It's who earnt it the most, and the JackJumpers did everything they could to put themselves in a position to win it.

"I think the right four teams have made the semi-final series right now and I had no preference about who I played."

Vickerman was full of praise for the way JackJumpers coach Scott Roth helped the NBL's newcomers overcome a shaky 1-4 start to finish the season with an impressive 17-11 record.

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