Indiana Pacers forward Paul George called a players-only meeting after the team concluded practice on Thursday. After a loss to the Hawks on Wednesday, Indiana had fallen to a 7-9 record—a disappointing start to a season that began with high expectations.
Per NBA.com, the Pacers were being outscored by an average of 4.6 points per 100 possessions—the fifth worst mark in the NBA heading into the Thanksgiving break. This was a team that needed to look itself in the mirror and create an identity.
After practice, the Pacers discussed their offense by themselves. No coaches involved. The 1st time I've seen such a meeting this season. pic.twitter.com/rAVKBFYTIs
— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) November 24, 2016
The meeting appeared to work, as the team blew out the visiting Brooklyn Nets, 118-97, on Friday with Paul George on sidelines nursing a sore ankle and back.
From the Indy Star:
The Indiana Pacers gathered in the paint. They stood together in a circle inside an empty Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Thanksgiving. They needed to discuss their future by themselves. Coach Nate McMillan nor any of his assistants allowed.
Paul George, in a players’ only-meeting Thursday, did his best to be a leader.
“I wanted to get the guys together and kind of wanted to get them to just start seeing the game differently,” George said after the Pacers’ shootaround. “If there’s action going on strong side, why can’t we talk and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to set you up for this back screen or I’m going to get to you for this pin down.’ No reason why we can’t communicate on the offensive end.”