Allen's keys to winning the NBA Three-Point Shootout

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Allen's keys to winning the NBA Three-Point Shootout

By JessicaCamerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- Last week Ray Allen broke the record for most 3-pointers made in NBA history. This weekend, he will compete for another title in the Three-Point Shootout.

It may have been 10 years since Allen won the contest, but hes ready to compete in 2011. After making over 2,500 shots in his career, he is taking a laidback approach to the competition.

Dont be fooled, though, this All-Star is in it to win it on Saturday night in Los Angeles.

Friendly Competition
They may be all about helping one another on the Celtics, but its every man for himself as Allen battles teammates and defending champion, Paul Pierce.

Paul has been talking all day today, all day yesterday. He was out there when I was shooting -- he brought the rack out. I told him, 'Ive been there, done that,' he said. I know if you ask Paul, hell tell you that when I won, it was 10 years ago and everythings changed since then. So Im the dinosaur in the game, I dont stand a chance, I dont know the formula now since he just won last year.

Like Second Nature
The setting may be different with the fanfare of All-Star Weekend all around him, but Allen is approaching this competition like he does any other game.

Ill practice before and that day, but I try not to put too much emphasis on it," he said. You just go out there and do what you know youre capable of doing . . . I do this in my sleep. Literally, I was thinking about it last night, shooting the basketball.

Banking the Money Balls
Allen doesnt see that many differences between shooting in a game setting and the contest, although there that contestants have to adapt to.

I guess the only difference is the balls, depending on what the balls do, he said. Especially the money ball, the money balls a little stickier so it can hit the rim wrong and it wont go in or bounce out. When you get to the money ball, you have to make sure the ball doesnt stick on your hands, but just shooting is no different. Its all about making a couple in a row and just sticking with your rhythm.

Work for Every Basket
Even though Allen is the record-holder and Pierce is the defending champion, he is not overlooking his competition in Kevin Durant, James Jones, Daniel Gibson, and Dorell Wright.

Its not like because I just had the three-point record or Paul won last year, doesnt mean were guaranteed to win it, he said. Weve proven that we can win on that stage, but between those guys, if guys pretty much have ice in their veins, they can knock down shots on the big stage.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter athttp:twitter.comjcameratoNBA

Stars, studs and duds: Bradley delivers another two-way gem

Stars, studs and duds: Bradley delivers another two-way gem

CHICAGO – Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s series-clinching 105-83 Game 6 win over the Chicago Bulls.
 
STARS
 

Avery Bradley

He delivered yet another two-way gem for the Celtics, scoring nine of his 23 points in the first quarter that set the tone for Boston’s win.
 
Jimmy Butler

Gutsy performance by Butler whose sore knees didn’t allow him to be as explosive as he’s accustomed to at both ends of the floor. He still managed to score a team-high 23 points along with grabbing seven rebounds.
 
Al Horford

It’s almost to the point where you expect Horford to deliver a balanced scoring line. In Game 6 he had 12 points, 7 assists and six rebounds.
 

STUDS
 
Isaiah Thomas

His shot wasn’t falling (he was 4-for-12), but Thomas still managed to make his presence felt. He finished with 12 points, six assists and five rebounds.
 
Robin Lopez

He has had better games, but he still finished with a decent stat line with 10 points and five rebounds.
 

DUDS
 
Dwyane Wade

Absolutely brutal night for Wade who may have played his last game for the Bulls if he decides to opt-out of his contract and become a free agent. He had just two points, missing nine of his 10 shots from the field.

Celtics blow out the Bulls in Game 6, move on to face the Wizards

Celtics blow out the Bulls in Game 6, move on to face the Wizards

CHICAGO – The Boston Celtics were at a crossroads just two games into their first-round series against Chicago.

Down 2-0, something had to change – and change fast – if they were going to avoid being remembered as one of the worst number one seeds in NBA history.

“We didn’t have a meeting, but it was a reality check for us,” said Boston’s Avery Bradley who talked about how the team was “humbled after losing two games.”

They had a choice.

They could feel sorry for themselves and continue to struggle, or as Bradley put it, “come here (Chicago) and make history.”

The Celtics did just that, becoming the first number one seed in the best-of-seven series era to lose the first two games at home, and respond by winning the next four which includes a 105-83 Game 6 win to eliminate the Bulls.

Boston’s blowout victory was fueled in large part by a furious third quarter in which they dominated the Bulls in every way imaginable, outscoring Chicago 34-16 in the quarter which gave them a decisive 88-59 lead going into the fourth.

The 29-point lead after three quarters was a historical moment. It now stands as the largest lead the Celtics have had in a road playoff game after three quarters of play.

Boston moves on to the Conference semi-finals where they will face the Washington Wizards with Game 1 expected to be at the TD Garden on Sunday.

Fourth-year coach Brad Stevens advances past the first round of the playoffs for the first time, while the Celtics franchise is in the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

And in the final game of the series, the Celtics’ depth proved to be just too much for the injury-riddled Bulls to overcome.

Former Celtic Rajon Rondo, who led the Bulls to wins in Games 1 and 2, suffered a fractured right thumb injury in Game 2 and was unable to return in the series.

And while Jimmy Butler had a strong 23-point performance in Game 6, he was hampered to some extent by sore knees which more than anything, seemed to take something away from his explosiveness both as a scorer and to defend at a high level.

The player benefiting most from Butler’s less-than-ideal status health-wise, was Avery Bradley.

After scoring a playoff career-high 24 points in Boston’s Game 5 win, he got off to a fast start in Game 6 with nine of his 23 points scored in the first quarter.

Bradley’s scoring, primarily from 3-point range, was indicative of how the game began for the Celtics.

They opened with a 9-4 run, with all nine points coming from 3-point range.

Chicago got a couple shots to go down, but Boston went on an 8-2 spurt that gave them their first double-digit lead 21-11, after back-to-back dunks by Gerald Green and Al Horford, respectively.

Boston’s control remained strong as the first quarter ended with the Celtics ahead 30-23.

And the Celtics’ second unit picked up where the starters left off by scoring eight of the first 10 points of the second quarter to lead 38-25.

Boston’s second unit helped push the Celtics’ lead to as many as 17 points in the second before the Bulls began to chip away at it.

A lay-up by Chicago’s Paul Zipser capped off an 8-0 run by the Bulls that cut Boston’s lead to 42-33 with 5:50 to play in the first half.

Boston continued to play with in the double-digit neighborhood before closing the quarter by scoring nine of the last 13 points to lead by 13 at the half.