Allen revered by his sharpshooting peers

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Allen revered by his sharpshooting peers

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Ray Allen is now the NBA's all-time leader in 3-pointers made, a record that we've been counting down to for weeks.

It was fitting that when he did it, the former record holder, Indiana great Reggie Miller, was at the TD Garden to witness it.

But as both Allen and Miller understand all too well, every record achieved will be surpassed sooner or later.

And when you look at the NBA's all-time leaders in 3-pointers made, several are current players who have already taken up residence in the top 10.

CSNNE.com had a chance to catch up with all five of the current players trailing Allen who are ranked in the top-10.

Dallas guard Jason Kidd (No. 3 all-time; 1,748 made 3s)

Kidd's inclusion in the top 10 list is arguably the biggest shock among the players in the top-10.

Coming out of Cal-Berkeley, few envisioned Kidd developing into a decent jump-shooter, let alone one a player who will finish his career among the greatest 3-point shooters in NBA history.

"That would probably be a good trivia question," Kidd told CSNNE.com. "My name would probably never be mentioned."

He's right.

Kidd's success as a 3-pointer came about with hours spent working on that particular shot.

Because the knock on him for years has been his inability to shoot from the perimeter, many of Kidd's 3-pointers have been uncontested.

"I've had a lot of opportunities because I've been open," Kidd said. "The knock on me when I got to the NBA was that I couldn't shoot. So I went to work right away trying to improve that part of my game. I think I've done OK."

Dallas forward Peja Stojakovic (No. 4, 1,719 3s)

The newest member of the Dallas Mavericks, Stojakovic has been among the NBA's top 3-point shooters for a number of years.

A three-time All-star, Stojakovic has finished in the top-10 in 3-point attempts four times, and twice in the top-10 in 3-point shooting percentage.

The 33-year-old Stojakovic has always been taller than most of his colleagues as a youth, but he was fortunate to not have been asked to play in the frontcourt.

"I had coaches who recognized I could shoot the ball well, and they never tried to make me play in the post," Stojakovic told CSNNE.com.

And while Stojakovic says there are a number of great 3-point shooters in the NBA, Allen stands out for several reasons.

"Ray is an unbelievable shooter," Stojakovic said. "His form, release, everything is perfect. You can see he's so focused when he shoots. It doesn't really matter what the defense is doing."

And while Stojakovic may appear to be within striking distance of Allen, he's not banking on being in position to pass Allen anytime soon.

"It would be nice, but it's not something I think about; I don't think it's something most of the better shooters think about really," he said. "But it would be nice."

Denver guard Chauncey Billups (No. 6, 1,685 made 3s)

Billups, also known as 'Big Shot' Billups, is known for delivering game-changing shots in the closing minutes of games.

And more often than not, it's a 3-pointer.

"That is a big part of my game, obviously," Billups told CSNNE.com this summer. "But it's like anything; you can't go to it too much. It has to be part of your game, not your whole game."

Early in his career, Billups struggled to find his niche in the league as he bounced around from one team to another.

Once he arrived in Detroit prior to the 2002-2003 season, that was when he started to develop the reputation of being a clutch shooter - especially from 3-point range.

"There's a lot of great shooters in this league that I've played against," he said. "Reggie Miller and Ray Allen are the ones you think of right away."

As important as the 3-point shot has been to Billups' career, that's not necessarily what he wants to be remembered for.

"A winner," said Billups, who was named the 2004 NBA Finals MVP after leading the Pistons to the franchise's third NBA title. "That's the only reason I play; to win. All that other stuff is cool, don't get me wrong. But me, you know me I'll take winning over all that other stuff."

Washington forward Rashard Lewis (No. 7, 1,667 made 3s)

If there was a player who would fall under the category of a Ray Allen disciple, Rashard Lewis is that guy.

The 6-foot-10 forward spent four-plus seasons with Allen in Seattle, and the two have remained close ever since.

"Ray has been great to me," Lewis told CSNNE.com.

The biggest lesson he says he has learned from Allen has nothing to do with shooting the ball.

"His preparation," Lewis said, "is second to none. That's something that I really picked up from him that, if you want to be a great player in this league, you have to work at your game and never be satisfied."

As far as breaking Allen's record someday, Lewis said, "I don't know about that. He's got to retire first. Looking at him and the way he's playing and the way he's moving now, who knows when he'll retire."

Dallas guard Jason Terry (No. 8, 1,593 made 3s)

Known for his speed, Terry has meshed lightning-quick speed with the ability to knock down long range shots.

"For me, it stretches the defense," Terry told CSNNE.com. "I've always been a guy that, even in transition on the break, I'll spot up for 3. Guys just tend to forget about you, especially in transition. They like to go to the basket. You're always taught, 'go to the basket. protect the paint.' That's what guys like myself, Ray Allen, even Dirk in that trail position, get good looks at 3s."

And like the guys ahead of him on the all-time top-10 list, he too sees Allen as a living legend when it comes to 3-point shooting.

"Obviously, we know who the pioneer was for our era; it was Reggie Miller," Terry said. "He set the bar. And now Ray Allen has raised that bar. His longevity, the way he has been able to do it, and for how long he's been doing it for, I want to continue to do that. Once he leaves, hopefully I'll just slide right on in."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

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Bulls' point guard counsel spun to Isaiah Canaan in Game 4

Bulls' point guard counsel spun to Isaiah Canaan in Game 4

CHICAGO – The point guard carousel continues to swirl for the Chicago Bulls who will now give Isaiah Canaan a try as they continue to search for a suitable replacement for Rajon Rondo (right thumb) who is out indefinitely.

Canaan, a seldom-used backup this season, came off the bench and provided a major spark for the Bulls in 34 fairly productive minutes. 

He led all Chicago bench players with 13 points on 4-for-10 shooting which included a 3-for-7 showing from 3-point range. 

More than anything, Canaan looked like a serviceable playmaker which is a huge, huge upgrade to what Chicago got out of Jerian Grant and Michael Carter-Williams. 

Grant, who struggled mightily in Game 3 as well, was not ready for the moment. He couldn’t make shots, slow down Isaiah Thomas or impact the game other than negatively for the Bulls which is why Fred Hoiberg benched him after less than five minutes of court time. The dude had a plus/minus of -10 in less than five minutes (four minutes, 41 seconds to be exact).

The Bulls will need better play than that to have any shot at winning, which is why Hoiberg named Canaan the starter and not Michael Carter-Williams who like Grant, struggled in Games 3 and 4. 

“I really thought he (Canaan) did a good job picking up the ball and pressuring the point a full 94 feet," Hoiberg said. "I thought his initial ball pressure was good. We have to get off to a much better start if we want to have any chance of winning another game in this series. That’s two games in a row now we’ve gotten ourselves down 20 points and fought all the way back. Game 3 cut it to 1. Last night we took the lead and then had five empty possessions in a row where they scored on the other end. You spend so much energy digging out of that hole. We need to do a better job of using that energy in a better start."

Playing with energy may become an issue for Canaan who readily admits that not being in the regular rotation while racking up a bunch of DNP-CDs this season made it more challenging for him in Game 4 to get into a good flow. 

"The way I play, I was more worried about my wind,” Canaan told reporters. “God helped me out as much as possible. I’m looking forward to that next game and getting that rhythm back."