Pacers’ George adjusts his stance on playing power forward

Paul George is changing his tune after speaking with Frank Vogel and Larry Bird.
Brian Spurlock/Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Paul George saga continues, this time on a positive note.

After suggesting that he wasn’t "cut out" to play power forward after the Indiana Pacers’ first preseason games, many began to wonder if George’s displeasure with playing up a position would be an issue this season.

But now George is adjusting his tune after speaking with coach Frank Vogel and team president Larry Bird, a conversation he believes was helpful.

"Yeah, we talked about it," George told the Indianapolis Star. "Just going over what was the plan going forward.

"I mean, there was clarification on what we’re (doing) going forward. That’s what it was, just clarification."

George was pressed to explain what that "clarification" was, and said, "We’re going to still stick with it, see how it works."

His explanation for being OK with the move was simple: "I’m a part of this team."

Though this may seem like inconsequential comments, it’s good news for the Pacers faithful. George is the key to any success the team may have this season, and he has to be on board with the team’s style of play and overall direction. If he and Vogel and Bird are clashing all season, the Pacers will struggle even to make the playoffs, let alone acheive their goal of nabbing home-court advantage.

It remains to be seen just how much George will play power forward. The Pacers have plenty of solid frontcourt options to choose from — Ian Mahinmi, Jordan Hill, Myles Turner, Lavoy Allen — so it’s not as if George needs to play a bulk of the game at the 4.

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But in the right matchups — against other small-ball units or slow big men who aren’t offensive threats — he can be lethal at the position.

In the meantime, Vogel hopes to have an open communication line with George, listening and valuing his superstar’s feedback.

“He knows the big picture, we’re all on the same page,” Vogel said. “I don’t have any problem with him speaking his mind. As long as he’s communicating with me, too. Which he is.”