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Jeff Green on criticism of his inconsistency: ‘I don’t give a (expletive). It don’t bother me’

Mar 21, 2014, 9:45 AM EDT

P.J. Tucker, Jeff Green

Jeff Green scored 39 points Sunday, making him one of just nine players to score that much multiple times this season.

The other eight – Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Kevin Love, James Harden, Stephen Curry and Blake Griffin – were all All-Stars.

But in the game before his most-recent 39-point outing, Green did something none of those eight did: score single digits. And in the game after his-most recent 39-point outing, Green did something none of those eight did: score single digits.

Nine points last Thursday, 39 Sunday, five Monday.

He played more than 35 minutes in all three games, too, so it’s not a lack of opportunity. This is just who Jeff Green is.

He’s scored 25 points a dozen times this season. And he’s scored single digits another dozen times.

Nobody else with as many 25-point games has so many single-digit games.

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No matter how you slice it, Green scores inconsistently.

Just don’t tell him about it.

Green, via Steve Bulpett of BostonHerald.com:

“I’m playing,” Green said. “I mean, that’s all I care about. I’m healthy.

“I can care less about what other people have to say about my performance. You know, everybody’s entitled to their own opinion, so I really don’t pay attention to it. I’m just trying to come into each year being healthy and being able to play this game.”

Just as he can’t shake the expectation of others that such nights should not be a part of his profile. The suggestion has been made that viewers don’t understand how difficult it is to scale the scoring heights.

“Of course,” Green said. “They don’t know, because they haven’t been through it. That’s why I say I can care less what people say. They can talk and say whatever they want to say. You know, I don’t give a (expletive). It don’t bother me.”

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I really see Green’s point of view on this.

He missed the entire 2011-12 season due to a heart condition. Many thought he’d never play again, but he’s played every game this season and last. That’s the most important type of consistency for him.

And those who say they want him to score more consistently really don’t. Few really care how frequently he comes near his 17.0-point-per-game average (a career best, by the way). They just want him to reduce his low-scoring games while maintaining his high-scoring games.

That’s not becoming more consistent. That’s getting way better.

It’s fair to hope Green improves, but don’t conflate that with Green becoming more consistent. Most fans actually want only the former.

  1. adoombray - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    I couldn’t care less about how he overcame his heart condition. He has a problem getting the job done. Inconsistency is a nice way of saying he’s terrible half the time. The Celtics are a young team that needs to learn to bring effort every night and for all 4 quarters and Jeff Green is the antithesis of where the team needs to go. D. Ainge really needs to dangle him around draft time, because I’d rather go with a younger guy who hasn’t already had a million opportunities like Green has.

    Good for him that he is still playing, but I don’t want him as the starting 3 on the C’s. Boston fans are earning their spots on the bandwagon after this season and we’re tired of Green.

    • thundergunxpres - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:55 PM

      celtics made their bed overpaying for green, unfortunately i doubt anyone is taking him off our hands anytime soon.

      • ProBasketballPundit - Mar 21, 2014 at 8:53 PM

        People might forgive Jeff Green if he hung dong a little more often.

  2. thundergunxpres - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    You’ve obviously never watched the guy play, he doesn’t need to get better, it’s his effort and what seems to be interest in the game when he is scoring single digits he stands at the 3 point line all game

    • casualcommenter - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:46 AM

      For once, I actually agree with Bill Simmons, who says Jeff Green is a guy who wilts if he misses his first few shots of the game.

      If he’s feeling it from the start, he’ll keep looking for his shot and he’ll finish with 25+ points.

      But if he misses a few shots from the beginning, he’ll do as you say, and just stand at the 3-point line and defer to teammates.

      The skillset and physical tools to be a consistent 20+ point per game scorer are already there. The mindset isn’t there, though.

  3. chunkala - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    I remember him being a force inside at G-town. I know he had to expand his game outward but dancing around the 3 point line is not going to bring him to the next level.

  4. 00maltliquor - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    So, PJ…what kind of deodorant does Jeff Green prefer to use?

  5. kclanton80 - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    This my friends is what separates a really talented player from a great player. The greats have a burning desire to be the best and Jeff Green simply does not have that. He also never will! Players like him, Rudy Gay, Andrew Bynum, Michael Beasly, Derrick Williams etc… All the talent and athleticism in the world be happy enough just to be there. Why do you think OKC was willing to give him up for Kendrick perkins? All these guys bounce from team to team as that guy is “almost about to turn the corner” or “could be a superstar one day”…. Nope never gonna happen. Sad

  6. void96eater - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    I’m glad Green doesn’t let the criticism bother him, but he has to be more efficient if the Celtics want to get to the next level. It’s just a fact. Maybe he should go back to coming off the bench?

  7. therealhtj - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    Wonder if he’d care more if the checks weren’t guaranteed?

    • kinggw - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:49 PM

      Doubtful. Green never said he didn’t care. He said he didn’t care about people’s criticism, see the difference?

  8. Kansachusetts - Mar 22, 2014 at 10:51 PM

    Green is a mystery, a deeply frustrating mystery for Boston fans. He seems emotionally detached a lot of the time. He might not BE detached, but he acts it. He’s capable of truly great, slashing drives and strong finishes. Then some nights he can’t even find a path to the rim. It’s like his pilot light keeps going off, or his gears won’t engage.

    The same is true of Green’s defense, especially in or near the paint. Sometimes he’ll just forget to box out, he’ll look apathetic. Other times he can really lock in. But you never know when he will. It’s not like he necessarily turns it on when he plays the best competition.

    One thing Green said is telling, “I’m just trying to come into each year being healthy and being able to play this game.” That’s setting a very low bar for success. Anybody on the court is healthy and can play the game. We need him to want to WIN every game. But he’s emotionally disengaged. He can’t care that much. Basically, he seems to needs therapy, and I hope he gets it. The Celtics can’t afford another year of his inconsistency.

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