Pavlovic: 'I just play basketball'


Pavlovic: 'I just play basketball'

BOSTON -- Sasha Pavlovic wears the same game face whether he has hit a big basket or bumbled a play down the stretch.

Cool, calm, collected.

So when he plays as well as he has been in recent games, his performances seem to sneak up on the opponent. Then Pavlovic goes about his business as though its not a big deal.

I just play basketball, he told I dont make faces. I dont think there is a reason for that. Im just like that.

Pavlovic entered Wednesdays game against the Atlanta Hawks averaging 5.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, while shooting 69.2 percent from the field and 77.8 percent from three-point range in his last five contests. More importantly, he has made an impact of defense.

One player who knows Pavlovics approach well is Atlanta Hawks forward Vladimir Radmanovic. The two first met playing on youth pro teams in Serbia over ten years ago.

Radmanovic has come to expect the type of performances that may surprise others.

Hes a defensive-minded player, Radmanovic said. Hes a guy who can lock somebody down, very physical. Nobody thinks he can really jump and then all of a sudden youll see him blocking somebody on the fast break. Obviously those of us coming from Europe are good shooters, so thats the thing that Sasha has as well.

Hes bigger than most of the guards and he can guard basically one through four. The speed that he has gives him the ability to guard smaller guys and his size and his strength lets him guard bigger guys.

Pavlovic made it a point to improve his defense when he entered the NBA in 2003. After playing for six teams, he has found is critical for sticking around.

If you want to play in this league, youve got to be able to play defense, Pavlovic replied matter-of-factly, never changing his expression. If you dont, youre going to play on the bench.

Once again, staying cool, calm, and collected.

Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'


Butler imitates Brown with post-interception dance: 'Nothing personal'

Malcolm Butler didn't mean any disrespect. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. 


When the Patriots corner picked off a Landry Jones pass in the first quarter -- one that was intended for receiver Antonio Brown -- Butler stood up in the end zone, faced the Heinz Field crowd, stuck one arm in the air a and gyrated like someone had attached jumper cables to his facemask. 

He was doing his best to mimick one of Brown's well-known touchdown dances.

"Me and Brown had conversation before," Butler said, "and it was a joke to him once I showed him how I do it. Much love for that guy. Nothing personal."

For Butler, it was the highlight of what was a productive afternoon. The third-year corner was asked to shadow Brown for much of the day, and he allowed Brown to catch five of nine targets for 94 yards. He also broke up a pair of passes intended for Brown's teammates.

“Stopping Antonio Brown, that’s impossible," Butler said. "You can’t stop him. You can only slow him down. I just went out there and tried to compete today . . . Great players are going to make plays but you have to match their intensity.”
Even on the longest throw from backup quarterback Landry Jones to Brown, a 51-yarder, it appeared as though Butler played the coverage called correctly. 

Butler lined up across from Brown and trailed him underneath as Brown worked his jway from the left side of the field to the right. Butler was looking for some help over the top in that scenario, seemingly, but because Brown ran across the formation, it was hard for the back end of the defense to figure out who would be helping Butler. 

Belichick admitted as much after the game. 

"He was on [Brown] a lot the way we set it up," Belichick said. "Look, they've got great players. They're tough to cover. They hit us on a couple over routes, in cut where they kind of ran away from the coverage that we had. 

"The plays were well designed. Good scheme, good thorws and obviously good routes by Brown. They got us on a couple, but I thought we competed hard. We battled all the way. We battled on third down. We battled in the red area. They made some. We made some, but they're good. They have a lot of good players."

And Brown, in particular, is about as close as it gets to unstoppable in the NFL. Butler found that out in Week 1 of last year when he matched up with Brown in his first game as a starter, giving up nine catches for 133 yards to the All-Pro wideout. 

Though Sunday might not have been perfect for Butler, it was better than that day about 14 months ago. And at times, it was worth dancing about. 

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6


SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks, Cardinals miss OT FGs, tie 6-6

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Seattle's Stephen Hauschka and Arizona's Chandler Catanzaro missed short field goals that would have won the game in overtime and the Seahawks and Cardinals settled for a 6-6 tie Sunday night.

Hauschka's 27-yard field goal was wide left with seven seconds left after Catanzaro's 24-yarder bounced off the left upright.

The tie was the Cardinals' first since Dec. 7, 1986, a 10-10 draw at Philadelphia when the franchise was based in St. Louis. It was the first for the Seattle since entering the NFL in 1976.

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