The NBA is turning into a league that’s all about spacing and playing small lineups. With that in mind, the Indiana Pacers & Sacramento Kings are planning on turning Paul George and Rudy Gay, small forwards on most days, into power forwards, at least part time.
The Pacers have already been mentioning their intentions to move into a smaller lineup, that might hurt Roy Hibbert, but if the plan is to create a fast team that can run the floor, space it and shoot, then there really is little need for a center who isn’t very mobile and most of his use comes from rim protection. The moment the post game is becoming more and more of an afterthought, the less and less there’s a need for traditional centers, at least most of the time.
The Kings are built around a center. A big man with a great post game, although there’s more to him than Hibbert. And yet DeMarcus Cousins is a vital plan to their future, to the franchise, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Kings move forward, especially with George Karl on the sidelines, and which style they choose to play with, or perhaps it’ll be a combination of something.
Rudy Gay is great to be a ‘4’ in some sort of smaller lineup that stretches the floor. He actually played quite a lot of power forward in the 2014 basketball world championships, so it won’t be a new thing to him. Maybe the plan is to create a lineup that’s similar to how the Orlando Magic played around Dwight Howard. One dominant center with four perimeter players to complement him.
George has actually played quite a lot of shooting guard, but that was before Danny Granger turned from All-Star into an injured old man with a blink of an eye. George is recovering from a long injury himself, but he did play late last season and will probably be more than ready for the new one. In the new system the Pacers intend to install, George might play the role of a bigger man as the Pacers step away from what has defined them over the last three or four seasons, which was their size and length, that came with a rather slow and predictable offense.