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Old 03-08-2012, 01:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
is the baby faced assassin

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New Camera system

There was a bit of predictable, snarky chuckling about this piece on the ESPN.com’s TrueHoop blog Wednesday that imagined an NBA in 2022 in which teams could track, in real-time, all sorts of things about a player’s physical state — various chemical levels, changes in vertical leap, decreases in running speed, etc.

We’re a ways off from the reality described in that piece, but the league is headed in that direction, and one the driving forces is a state-of-the-art in-arena camera system developed by STATS LLC. A half-dozen teams purchased and installed the system last season, and 10 are using it this season; the league over the All-Star break made noises about adopting it someday for all 30 teams. (The 10 teams, by the way: Houston, San Antonio, Boston, Minnesota, Milwaukee, New York, Washington, Toronto, Oklahoma City and Golden State.)

We’re only scratching the surface of what this thing can do, because it tracks every movement on the court to a very precise level. It can tell you how fast a player was moving on a certain possession, how far a player runs during a game, how much Jose Calderon’s shooting percentage declines when a defender is within X feet of him upon release, how high in the air the ball was when Kevin Love rebounded it, whether Kevin Durant shoots better after taking one dribble or four, which player’s passes are more likely to lead to open shots, and lots more. The system, once refined even more, will produce so much data that the real challenge will be sorting it in useful ways.

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