Pavlovic: 'I just play basketball'

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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 CSNNE.com. 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.

Haggerty's NHL Power Rankings: Playoff format going to irk somebody

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Haggerty's NHL Power Rankings: Playoff format going to irk somebody

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Trump invites Patriots to White House to celebrate Super Bowl on April 19

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Trump invites Patriots to White House to celebrate Super Bowl on April 19

The Patriots have been invited to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl LI victory with president Donald Trump on April 19.

How many players RSVP in the affirmative to the invitation remains to be seen. 

White House press secretary Sean Spicer, a Patriots fan, announced the date at a press briefing on Thursday. Spicer noted that the visit will coincide with the 242nd anniversary of the battles at Lexington and Concord.

Though Trump considers Patriots owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady as friends, several members of last season's championship roster have noted already that they didn't play to attend a celebratory trip to Trump's White House. 

The list of those who have gone on record saying they weren't interested in heading to Washington, DC this year includes safety Devin McCourty, tight end Martellus Bennett (now a member of the Packers), defensive end Chris Long (free agent) and running back LeGarrette Blount (free agent). Defensive tackle Alan Branch and linebacker Dont'a Hightower also noted that they didn't plan to go.

The Patriots are the first championship team that Trump has extended an invitation to during his presidency.