Paul George preparing to play power forward

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Larry Bird said the Pacers want to play faster and smaller next season.

Maybe those were just empty words to convince Roy Hibbert to opt out.

But if Indiana follows through, Paul George – a wing by trade – will be ready.

Dana Hunsinger Benbow of IndyStar:

Paul George is not only OK playing power forward for the Indiana Pacers — he’s been working at it.

“I’ll be ready for it. I’m working on making that change and being prepared to play some forward this year,” George said Thursday. “I understand what Larry (Bird) wants as far as playing the faster pace. I mean, I’m for it. That’s the way the league is going nowadays.”

I really like the idea of George at power forward.

He’s strong enough to defend players there, especially as the league goes smaller. And he could switch on any screen.

Offensively, he’d spread the floor with his shooting. He’d have opportunities to drive against slower-footed players, which would be just lethal. And his passing would be a real asset from the four.

It might be a little bumpier for the Pacers to adjust overall, because they’ve gotten so used to their style of play. But the upside is high in large part because of George.