With a certain amount of name recognition comes high expectations in the summer league. Players look at Marcus Banks scoring 42 points for the Suns entry Monday and can easily fall into the trap of feeling that they should be statistically dominant as well.

With a certain amount of name recognition comes high expectations in the summer league. Players look at Marcus Banks scoring 42 points for the Suns entry Monday and can easily fall into the trap of feeling that they should be statistically dominant as well.


If you are Gerald Green, the man on the promotional posters for the event, or Leon Powe, a second-year player going against opponents two and three years his junior, you might think you should be the show.


But the Celtics aren't as interested in winning All-Star recognition in Las Vegas as they are winning games next season, so scoring in the team system is being stressed over trying to show you can score from all over the court during the five-game stretch.


That was a message that Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said was lost in Boston's lackluster showing in Monday's loss to the Spurs, and one the Celtics hoped to reestablish in last night's late game against China.


"For us it's not as important that they score a lot here as it is that they can play in Doc's system," said Celtics summer league coach Armond Hill. "What they have to do on the floor here is show Doc that he can trust them when he puts them out on the floor during the season.


"It's all about playing time for these guys and their job here is to earn it that way."


Powe's first two games were a good example of what you want to do and don't want to do in the summer league. In the opening victory over Portland, he had 19 points and nine rebounds while playing strong defense against top overall pick Greg Oden. In Monday's loss, he had seven points and five rebounds in 28 minutes, but more significantly struggled as he tried to expand his offense out of the post where he is at his best.


"Doc just told me after the game that they are not looking at me for a lot of offense," said the hard-nosed power forward. "They want me to focus on my defense and my rebounds, and the shots will come."


Hill said that standout offensive games are not discouraged in the summer league as long as they come in the flow of the offense and are not forced.


"If we work the ball and Gerald gets 20 wide-open attempts in a game then we would all be happy if he went out and scored 30 points," Hill said. "But we know he can score. We are looking to see him do other things out here as well - block a shot, take a charge, have an assist."


The main reason for that altered focus is that when the games start to count, none of the players on the Celtics summer league roster are going to be the ones counted on to pour in 20 points a night on a regular basis.


"They should know that we have Al Jefferson, and Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce on this team," Hill said. "They should know (during the regular season) where the ball is going on offense most of the time. That's why they have to show here that they can pass the ball, get rebounds, play defense and can contribute for Doc in those ways."


Powe, who took Monday's loss particularly hard considering it was an exhibition against mostly players who will never suit up in a real NBA game, said before last night's game that he got the point. Then he got plenty of points, scoring 12 on 5-for-5 shooting to go with seven rebounds in the first half of last night's game.


"I still have to think team-first out here," he said. "Doc has told me that he wants me to play a lot for him next season, so I just have to keep playing tough.


"On offense, he said that I am going to score a couple of points out there," he concluded, "But we have Paul here, and Ray, and Al down low. There aren't going to be too many touches coming my way. I understand that and I am trying to do whatever I can to fit in with the team we have."