LAS VEGAS -- This is the ideal place to have the Summer League because everything that happens here, stays here. It's true in the casinos. It's true on the hardwood floors of the Thomas & Mack Center and the Cox Pavilion at UNLV.
Thus, fans in Philadelphia need not postpone vacation plans in May because Louis Williams was lighting it up at more than 25 points per game. Fans in Denver need not revel in Jelani McCoy averaging a double-double. Fans in Seattle need not fret that Kevin Durant missed 27 of his first 36 shots and fans in Dallas can hold off on the celebrations following the Mavericks' 5-0 mark, climaxed by yesterday's 91-70 whuppin' of the Celtics.
And all NBA fans can take comfort that the Summer League is also for officials, and that none of the refs who were on hand the past 10 days will likely grace an NBA floor next season.
For Celtics fans, it's way too early to get lathered up over the acquisition of Brandon Wallace (he may have the distinction of being the only free agent to have signed while he was here) or the inspired play of Glen Davis, who closed out his stay on the Strip with 19 points, 16 rebounds, and 6 blocks yesterday. They showed they can play in this environment, no more, no less. The big test for both will come in the fall and throughout the long NBA season. If Summer League is a step up from college, then the NBA is a three-story rise from Summer League.
There isn't a whole lot you can take away from Summer League, whether it's in Boston, Vegas or Salt Lake City. Remember, this time of year used to be the time that Kedrick Brown, Brandon Hunter, and Dion Glover had everyone gushing -- and then were rarely heard from again. Doc Rivers missed the last two games. Danny Ainge didn't bother to show up for the finale. If there was anyone of import from the Mavericks' braintrust yesterday, he was hard to find.
We did learn that the Celtics' offense has a bit of a letdown when Gabe Pruitt is in charge, rather than Rajon Rondo, who sat and watched for the second straight game. We learned that Gerald Green still seems to be only as good as his shooting, and the last two games he was 3 of 12 and 4 of 14. We didn't learn that Leon Powe likes to mix it up; we already knew that.
If there was anything approaching a revelation, it was probably Davis, who bulled his 6-foot-7-inch frame around the basket to finish the week averaging 12 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, and, ahem, 6 fouls per game. Yes, he did his damage yesterday against guys named Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Nick Fazekas, and fellow LSUer Brandon Bass. But he knows he's not in Baton Rouge anymore.
"I used to be the guy, everyone had to come to me," he said after the game. "Now, I'm not that guy anymore. I gotta get out of that mind-set. I'm a role player, just doing my job. I got Paul Pierce and Ray Allen out there with me. Maybe one day I will be that guy, who gets double-teamed and passes it out to Ray Allen for the basket to win the Eastern Conference championship."
Armond Hill, the Celtics' assistant who coached the team out here, said Davis still has tendencies to try to do too much, or do it all, carryovers from his college days when he did have to do it all.
"But I love the effort," Hill said. "It'll come for him. He got caught up trying to do too much and the ball stopped. We don't need that. I told him that. He thinks he has to make something happen and I told him something will happen if we move the ball. You gotta learn to play through the team and not try to be the star. These guys will learn."
Wallace had a forgettable finale, playing only 12 minutes before spraining his right ankle, finishing with 1 point and 1 rebound. Pruitt, the Celtics' other second-rounder besides Davis, had 2 points and 3 assists and was outplayed by former Northeastern Husky Jose Juan Barea (10 points, 11 assists). Powe, who led the team in scoring (12.2) and minutes (144), stumbled to a 2 point, 4-rebound, 6-foul game in only 18 minutes.
Hey, it was the dreaded day game after a night game. "I thought it was very positive overall," Hill said. "We found out about the kids we drafted [Pruitt and Davis] and the one we didn't draft [Wallace]."
They'll all find out a lot more once October rolls around and Summer League is a distant memory.
Peter May can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.