Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel confirmed the expectation that Paul George will contribute at power forward but also took it a step further.
Vogel suggested George will be the starter at the 4, per Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star. Vogel said:
“An idea on paper is to have a starting lineup of George Hill, Monta Ellis, C.J. Miles, Paul George and Ian Mahinmi.”
Earlier this summer, Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird said George will regularly jump from his spot at small forward up to power forward. George said he’d be open to playing a few minutes at the position, but Bird quickly rebuffed the statement.
Pacers' Larry Bird on Paul George not wanting to play major minutes at power forward: "He don't make decisions around here." Column coming.
— Gregg Doyel (@GreggDoyelStar) July 14, 2015
This move is the result of Bird wanting Indiana to play faster offensively, a stylistic adjustment afforded to Vogel when the franchise traded Roy Hibbert. According to Basketball-Reference, the Pacers offensive pace has ranked in the bottom half of the NBA each season since 2011-12.
George, who missed most of the 2014-15 campaign after a horrific injury in the USA Basketball Showcase, is the key to Indiana employing a small-ball strategy. The 6-foot-9, 220-pounder is close to the ideal size for a stretch 4, which is only growing in popularity as the league becomes perimeter-oriented.
The Pacers are going to display a different type of offense, but now George must adapt to a new position, too.