GPS Sensors Could Change NBA Stats
NBA fans everywhere are quite well aware of the greatness associated with a player such as Kobe Bryant and his tendency, or lack thereof, to pass the rock. However, the statistics showed early in the season last year that the Lakers would actually win more games when Kobe would pass more instead of going 3-on-1. Although on paper it would seem that the best option for the team would be having a distributor such as Steve Nash rack up the assists, the cold hard fact is that when Kobe racks up more assists the Lakers would rack up more wins.
Information is critical in helping sports teams understand where their strengths and weaknesses reside, something that can be extremely helpful in evaluating player performance. With the current use of GPS tracking systems and video surveillance equipment already being implemented by teams all across the league, it is no surprise to hear that the NBA plans on moving forward with new video camera tracking solutions developed by SportVu to offer even more critical data. Data that could change the way basketball statisticians evaluate talent on the court.
According to an announcement released by the NBA this past week, all 30 of the NBA arenas will be equipped with state-of-the-art tracking cameras that will precisely determine the movements of all players, referees, and ball movements on the court, recording the data at an incredible rate of a 30th per second! The camera systems will determine the distance covered by players, speed, ball movements, ball possession, steps made, dribble activity, passing, shooting, rebounding, and other data that will be broken down and categorized for review. The reason this is so fascinating is that the camera tracking systems could literally be the first step in the ways that management evaluate player performance. No longer will the most basic of stats such as points, rebounds, and assists be looked at, but rather detailed forms of that data such as open rebounds gathered during a free throw, uncontested rebounds, long-range rebounds, etc.
With the data from the camera systems head coaches and assistant head coaches can determine if a player actively grabbed a rebound from an offensive player or if the ball fell right into their hands by pure chance (although positioning yourself in the right area to catch a rebound would not necessarily be considered chance but rather strategy). The tracking data will also offer up information such as if a player is actively passing the ball yet not actually recording an assist.
The NBA is gathering all of this tracking data from the SportVu camera systems and will be propagating the information onto their stats page. The tracking data will also be available soon to those using the NBA mobile app which is available for download to smartphone users.
Ryan is a freelance writer who is passionate about technology, music, photography, and decentralized finance.