Touching the Rim

By Kevin Arnovitz

CHICAGO -- Celtics' reserve J.R. Giddens can't fairly be regarded as a long-range shooter. He's attempted only one shot from beyond the arc in his 54 career minutes. But the second-year shooting guard is trying, but not without some ribbing from teammate and sharpshooting legend Ray Allen.

As Giddens took long-range shooting practice this morning at the United Center in Chicago, Ray Allen sat observing, just inches away on the bench. Giddens isn't a congenital shooter -- he falls away a bit on his shot -- but this morning, he was doing alright. He hit three consecutive shots in front of Allen from the right side.

But that wasn't sufficient for Allen.

"You touched the rim!" Allen said after Giddens' third make.

Giddens turned around to face Allen. He wasn't despondent, but appeared more like an eager child trying to please a father-coach.

"What kind of shooter are you if you're touching the rim on your shot?" Allen said with a smile.

Allen then rose from his cushioned seat on the sidelines for a demonstration, launching a shot from 25-feet. As has been the case more than 2,000 times over his 14-year career, Allen's shot caught nothing but net.

Allen cooly went back to his place on the bench, and Giddens went back to work.