New technology that will significantly change basketball analytics

Someone mentioned this technology in a thread a while back and I apologize for not remembering who it was. But after seeing that comment I looked into it a bit, and what I ended up finding was really interesting.

The technology is called SportVu, from Stats, and Vantage, from Competitive Analytics Company and currently half the teams in the NBA are using it (the Cavs are one). Its a great concept. I won't go too in depth here of how it works, but basically it tracks the movement of the ball and every player on the court, including shots, rebounds, assits, etc, with cameras in the rafters 25 times per second. It yields information like who shoots from where and how much. And who passed to who after how many dribbles. If you wanted to know how many times Kyrie took 2 dribbles and shot a three, this could tell you. You want TT's shooting % on post touches? Yep, got that, too.

The most promising part of this to me is defensively. Let's be honest. Offensively, we pretty much know who's good and why. Sure, there are a few things that could be ironed out, and this will help, but, to me, this will only reaffirm our opinions of most players offensively, while giving us more detail of precisely how players are most effective. Perhaps where the game and analytics (no, not that Analytics) will benefit the most from this technology is defensively. Right now, to put if frankly, defensive metrics suck. Sure, blocked shots and steals can tell you if a player has a certain ability, but how many times does a player gamble and lose to take a chance to stuff his stat card. Currently, there isn't really a good way to measure overall defense other than watching the game, and let's be realistic, you can't watch each possession 5 times to watch every possession of every player. This is where this technology can help, especially for perimeter players. This technology can tell us how often a player is within a certain number of feet from an opposing player. So if you wanted to know truly how bad Kyrie is at D (he's really not THAT bad guys), you could just ask what % of the time is Kyrie within 3 ft or 5 ft of his man, and this could potentially tell you! How awesome is that!?!?

It can give other great info such as how often a player has a hand up during a shot, or how many rebounds a player gets that is in or outside of their "zone", or how many times a player (Alonzo Gee) drives to the hoop (too many) and turns it over (a lot). The potential is really limitless. With continued advancement and refinement of the cameras/computers there is really nothing about a game/player that can't be known. I just hope it gets released it to the public, or I get a job where I can use it (I prefer the latter).

I'll try to link to as many pages about the technology that I can so if you wanna know more you can find it:

Zach Lowe, Grantland

Hand Down, Man Down

Vantage article

Vantage blog

SportVu Article Part I, Part II, and Part III

I really want to get your guy's thoughts on this. What do you think is potentially the most beneficial aspect to this technology?

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff at FearTheSword

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