A state-of-the-art camera system being introduced may change the face of scouting as well as the NBA draft and trading system this season and for years to come.
The new software, which every NBA franchise has access to as of this year, will allow them to access the data for every player and the position of the ball for any second of any match all year round.
What this could do for the game is endless.
Will it allow the lesser teams focus on ways to stop the power teams with more precise tactics? Or enable to stronger teams to identify another teams weakness that they can exploit even further? It may even help with the tracking of their own players.
The data is being supplied via a camera system designed by SportVU, and they have been installed in every NBA arena across the United States.
SportVU originated in Israel in 2005 as an aside by the technicians who worked on missile-tracking for the military in the country and the cameras are arranged in an oval that allow data to be collected 25 times per second, whilst players are tracked by the colour of their jersey and the number.
Cleveland Cavaliers consultant Ben Alamar, also a professor of sport management at Menlo College in California confirmed the data will be able to revolutionise the game by creating the ability to check even the minutest of details.
“It’s a real game changer,...It’s allowing us to ask questions that we really couldn’t ask before.” he told the Seattle Times.
Some of the teams first installed the system before the 2010-2011 season but it has now been taken on by the whole league.
The most recent case of the system being used effectively is during the Golden State Warriors recent playoff campaign. Executives for the organisation confirmed that the data allowed them to reveal the places on the floor that their opponents shot well and poorly from.
Will this system be the end of the age-old scouting system where teams would send a representative to an upcoming oppositions game to take notes, and move it in to the modern era where the analysis is conducted in an office via a computer full of data?
The SportVU data also allows teams to analyse perspective signings and whether their own players may be succumbing to the demands of the regular season and the tiredness the demands can bring.
The NBA is moving to the forefront of using data to help them make decisions, it may not be long until some of the other major sports in the world take note of this system in the near future.
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