AP Photo/Charles Krupa
Paul Pierce and Ray Allen: Teammates ... and now 3-point Shootout foes.Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce got his wish Tuesday when teammate and soon-to-be all-time three-point king Ray Allen was announced as part of the field competing against him in the three-point contest on All-Star weekend.
Pierce, the defending champion in the event, publicly challenged Allen via his Twitter account: “I think me and Ray Allen need to have a shootout in this years 3pt contest,” Pierce tweeted, “what y'all think come on NBA make it happen.”
In response to Pierce, Allen, who sits just two three-pointers away from breaking Reggie Miller’s all-time record for trifectas made, last week said “I like my chances [against Pierce], for sure.”
This season, Allen has hit more than 46 percent of his attempted three-pointers, which would be a career high if it holds up over the second half. Pierce is hitting threes at a 40 percent clip.
Rounding out the field will be Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Daniel Gibson of the Cleveland Cavaliers, James Jones of the Miami Heat and Dorell Wright of the Golden State Warriors. The event will take place on Feb. 19 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
This year’s contest won’t be the first time Pierce and Allen have gone head to head in the event.
Back in 2002, Allen, then the defending champion, went up against seven other competitors, one of whom was Pierce, then a first-time participant. Both failed to advance past the first round, but Allen's score of 14 nearly doubled that of Pierce's 8.
Overall, Allen has participated in five 3-point shootouts over the course of his 15-year career (2000-02, 2005-06) with his lone victory coming in 2001. Pierce, meanwhile, has just two contests on his resume (2002, 2010), but emerged victorious last year after posting 20 points in the final round to best the Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry.
Allen probably won't be handing Pierce any tips, but he did stress the importance of getting the necessary rest prior to the contest.
"I think it boils down to how much rest you get that weekend," Allen said last week. "I see some guys come in and they don't make it around to the top of the key because they've been out every night, four days in a row, so it's just kind of finding a rhythm."
When asked if being a jump shooter gave him any advantage over Pierce, who's more of a set shooter, Allen downplayed the significance in shooting styles.
"I don't think it makes a difference," said Allen. [It] doesn't make a difference. The year I won it, most people said I wouldn't make it around the top because I was going to expend too much energy. You've just got to make shots. You can't worry about getting around. You've just got to make shots."
Information from ESPNBoston.com’s Chris Forsberg was included in this report.