For the past two weeks, Sasha Pavlovic has quietly played solid ball. He hasn’t scored much, averaging 4.2 points during five April games. He hasn’t played a lot, averaging 13.6 minutes during that span. But he’s taking care of the ball, providing solid defense and hitting open shots (5 for 8 threes in the last five). I expected literally nothing out of Pavlovic, who won Basketball Reference’s “Desmond Mason Memorial Least Valuable Player Award” in 2009-10 and then did nothing during the following two seasons to absolve himself, but he’s been playing his role off the bench, just like everyone on the Celtics has been doing lately.
If anything, Pavlovic is a symbol of what’s brought the Celtics’ recent success: he hustles until he’s blue in the face, realizes that everyone on this Celtics team has his own specific job, and doesn’t test his limitations. Just like everyone else on the Celtics, Pavlovic has completely bought into Doc Rivers’ design, at least for the time being.
It’s gotten to the point where I’m slightly nervous for Mickael Pietrus to return because that means Pavlovic might head back to the bench. I know, I know. Weird. But Pavlovic deserves the praise.