About a year and a half removed from a gruesome leg injury, Paul George looks to take on his latest challenge of starting at the four for the Indiana Pacers. Initially the idea was just being kicked around since the Pacers have a noticeable lack of talent in the big man department. Now, the move is official.
Coach Frank Vogel announced his tentative starting lineup of George Hill, Monta Ellis, CJ Miles, Paul George, and Ian Mahinmi on Thursday.
The Pacers are obviously trying to turn into a small-ball, offensive team. If the only big man in that starting five is going to be Ian Mahinmi, then the Pacers seem to not care about the passing it to the post on offense. I’m not saying that Mahinmi can’t be a post scorer, but I’m sure there won’t be many teams in the East that can’t guard him without too much difficulty. On top of that, Paul George isn’t even comfortable playing the four.
However, when asked about Vogel’s projected starting five, George said: “That’s kinda new to me. We talked about it some, (but) for him to say it in the papers, I guess he’s pretty confident on me starting as the power forward. So that was new to me.
“I don’t think I’m at that point in my career where I should be changing positions. I think guys do that later in their career. They put on weight, (begin) lacking physical attributes as far as being quick, so I don’t necessarily feel the need to play a different position, especially coming back into a new season and starting fresh again. So it’s a change, it’s definitely a change. We’ll see how it goes.”
I tend to agree with Paul George on this decision. He was close to winning a MVP while playing the two and three. He’s only 25 years old and he’s still at the peak of his athletic ability. Playing him at the four is going to limit what he can do because he has to learn the offense and defense in a brand new position. The age old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” comes into play here. While the Pacers may not have a player to play as a stretch four, the gameplan would be better if it featured Paul George at a spot that he’s more comfortable playing.