Whine about Jeff Green's inconsistent play all you want, he doesn't care what the fans have to say. Earlier this month, an angered Green remarked, "I don't give a (expletive). It don't bother me," when discussing the criticism he faces.
Since Green came to the Boston Celtics in 2011, he has been hounded for his special ability to score 25 points one night and five the next, but he claims that all the noise goes in one ear and out the other.
"I can care less about what other people have to say about my performance," Green told the Boston Herald. "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."
Green doesn't have to care about any negative comments a fan makes about him -- nor should any player -- but unfortunately for him, coach Brad Stevens would also like to see some more consistency.
"We can't expect him to consistently get 39 a night, so we have to temper those expectations," explained Stevens when asked about Green's knack for erratic performances.
"What we want him to do is to continue to grow and get better, and then hopefully find that consistency from more of an efficiency standpoint, [instead of] a volume or the ‘big night' standpoint."
Out of 23 players who have attempted at least 1000 field goals so far this season, Jeff Green ranks last in field goal percentage (41.2%), and 19th in effective field goal percentage (46.9%). Both of these statistics are well below the league average.
"When you're making shots, it makes the game look all easy. But I've shot the same shots each game. Some games I miss; some games I don't," said Jeff Green. "I put pressure on myself each game to just go out and perform well. I don't try to live by other people's expectations. I'm here to just do my job, and that's play for coach Stevens and for my team."
Stevens has certainly give Green the opportunity to improve on his craft this season, especially after his first 39-point performance in late January. In the past 22 games, Green is averaging 16.5 field goal attempts per game, a 39.2 FG%, and an ineffective 44.9 eFG%.
Even though Green's overall scoring numbers are up, it's only due to his increased usage, not his efficiency. This is what Brad Stevens says he'd like to see Green work on this offseason.
"[Green needs to] just continue to grow as a shooter, his ability to take advantage of situations in the half court when the defense is set -- which he's gotten better but still has a ways to go -- and to become more of a lockdown type of mentality defensively," suggested the first year head coach.
Stevens then explained that he's seen flashes of elite defense from Green this month. On March 1st, Paul George scored 27 points on 10-for-21 shooting, so the team challenged Green to step it up next time.
"Ten days later, we challenged Jeff and he did a great job on Paul George," said Stevens. That second game, George scored only 12 points on 5-for-10 shooting.
Jeff Green passed that test, but he will need to continue to develop the other facets of his game this summer. Green doesn't have to care about what the grumbling fans say, but they only want him to keep improving, just like coach Brad Stevens does.