“I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four-spot,” George said after the game. “I don’t know if this is my position.”
The negative: George can’t handle fours
It’s early, but George seems wholly unequipped to check power forwards, which isn’t at all surprising for someone who played his entire career on the wing.
Everything from the tactical minutiae to the physical demands of conceding size left George thoroughly overwhelmed.
“Defensively, it’s rough. It’s rough,” George told Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star. “It’s an adjustment because I’m not used to doing some of the things out there and I’m exerting more energy it feels like – from having to hedge on the ball screen, get back down low to a shot going up and now having to box out.”
The Pelicans scored at a blistering rate of 115.7 points per 100 possessions with George on the floor, while Davis predictably had his way on offense.
The final statline had George down for five defensive rebounds in 24 minutes. His counterpart Davis had five offensive rebounds in just 15 minutes, while the Pelicans as a team snagged 30.2 percent of available offensive rebounds on the night.
The early results in the experiment yielded both positives and negatives. Bird was right about the trade-off – George had his way on offense, but gave most of it back on defense.
Most importantly, the first game showed that the transition will be a work in progress for both the Pacers and their superstar. They have a long way to go.
“I don’t want to put a shadow over it, it’s only Game 1,” George said. “It’s new to everybody … just got to see where we go from here.”
Read more: theScore