This was a time when some people, some organizations, would have withdrawn, closed ranks, and either refused to talk or applied spin control.
Paul George and Frank Vogel didn't do that on Monday, two days after George had caught everyone's attention by declaring his uncertainty over playing "power forward" in the Pacers' new offense during his remarks after the opening pre-season game against New Orleans.
"I don't know if I'm cut out for a four-spot," he said then, after battling Pelicans MVP-candidate Anthony Davis at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. "I don't know if this is my position."
George had said Saturday he planned to meet with coach Frank Vogel and team president Larry Bird to discuss his future at his new position. He did, and emerged from it prepared to continue the experiment.
The second phase comes Tuesday when the Pacers play at Detroit.
"We're gonna still stick with it, see how it works," George said.
Are you OK with that? He was asked.
"I'm a part of this team," he said.
"There's no complaint," he added later. "I gave my opinion. Y'all asked me the question and I gave my opinion, that's it.
"I'm going to keep giving my opinion. This is what the media is for. I'm going to give my opinion. I'm not going against my teammates. I'm not going against this organization. I've always been a part of this team, Day One … I'm just giving my opinion."
Vogel said he had no problem with George expressing those opinions.
"We're going to continue to evaluate and get his feedback," Vogel said. "We're not going to put him in a position where he's not comfortable with his role. We're just not going to do that. We're going to play both small lineups and big lineups."
George on Monday reiterated his discomfort in guarding power forwards such as Davis after playing on the perimeter for the first four seasons of his NBA career, plus last season's six-game appearance. Help defense is different, blocking out bigger bodies around the basket becomes a priority, and there's less opportunity to disrupt passing lanes.
He didn't believe he fared well.
Davis "kicked my a--," he said.
That could be regarded as an exaggeration. He and Davis each scored 18 points, although Davis played eight fewer minutes and scored six of his points on offensive rebounds, four of them when George was in the game.
Nobody, however, seems ready to abandon the "small ball" experiment after one pre-season game. And, Vogel emphasized, George won't be stuck in that role throughout the season. He'll play on the perimeter within bigger lineups, too, sometimes starting there.
"I really believe we're going to have terrific lineups with two bigs out there, and terrific lineups with one big out there," Vogel said. "We haven't had that in the past. We need it. I think we're going to be strong in both areas."
Point guard George Hill isn't facing a position change as George is, but he'll have to make adjustments within the new starting lineup and style of play. He's emphasizing patience.
"You're always all-in because you're part of the team, but I'm like, we have to wait and see how it develops," he said. "We're just testing this out now in the preseason to see if it can be our makeup. If not, I'm sure we'll go back to traditional Indiana basketball.
"Coaches are always going to go back to what they're most comfortable with. What Frank is most comfortable with is playing big. So who knows? I'm sure if things go well, we'll be in it longer, and if things don't go well we'll be out of it quicker. We just have to wait and see."
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