After 1 game at power forward, Paul George is ready for something new
On Saturday night, the Indiana Pacers had their first preseason game of the 2015-16 campaign. It came against Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans, which kind of made things complicated. Davis is one of the best big men in the NBA, and the Pacers’ Paul George was making his debut as a power forward.
This summer, George expressed his doubts about the position change, but he seemed game to give it a try. Unfortunately, he was overmatched against Davis, and the first game with George at power forward did not go well, with the Pelicans winning 110-105.
After the game, George was honest, telling reporters he’s not sure that he’s "cut out" to play power forward (via the Indy Star):
“I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot,” George said. “I don’t know if this is my position. We’ll sit and watch tape and I’m sure I’ll talk with coach (Frank Vogel). I’ll talk with Larry (Bird) as well to get both their inputs on how the first game went but … I’m still not comfortable with it regardless of the situation. It’s still something I have to adjust to. Or maybe not. Or maybe it’s something we can go away from.”
On the one hand, a single game against one of the NBA’s best power forwards is a pretty small sample size. On the other, this is part of a larger trend. George has been clear about his displeasure with the idea of playing power forward as Indiana’s default approach.
That’s not to say the idea is without merit. Against the right opponents and in the right situations, George at power forward could be devastating.
The Pelicans obviously weren’t that opponent, but the Pacers have a limited amount of time this preseason to try George at power forward in actual games. It’s an idea that failed last night against New Orleans.
If there’s one upside to Saturday night for Indiana, it’s that they got concrete results on their first attempt. Now, they’ll have to figure out what adjustments can be made.