The NBA announced on Thursday that motion tracking cameras will be installed in every NBA arena. An excited Dennis Lindsey called it “data on steroids.”
The Utah Jazz General Manager has extensive background in camera tracking technology. The San Antonio Spurs have been using this technology over the past season while Lindsey worked with the Spurs. Moreover, while working for the Spurs, Lindsey was sent on a camera scouting mission to Europe to investigate how the cameras were being used in European Soccer.
The possibilities are endless, Lindsey says they are only limited by “good ideas and financial resources.” The Jazz need to make numerous decisions on how they will use this new wealth of data. The Jazz could use the standard information that will be supplied by STATS or they could hire their own developers to try to decipher their own findings out of the information.
The exuberance from Lindsey was obvious as he talked about the agreement between the NBA and STATS. Teams will be able to look at players load, how much they run, how fast they run, the average speed as well as fatigue zones and optimal performance models.
Offensively and Defensively the new system can be used in many different forms. The cameras will give a bird’s eye view to each play as well as having the technology for the teams to overlay data on the screen. The bird’s eye perspective will let teams look at how players are guarded, closely or loosely, and they perform in those circumstances. In addition, each spot on the floor will have xy coordinates.
Lindsey admitted that much of this information simply becomes “atta boy coaches” as it reconfirms what coaches have already implemented into their game plans.
Lindsey became tight lipped on some of its specific uses and areas where it can assist the franchise. The key he said was to “make sure the data base is serving you instead of just constantly feeding it.” The data is robust and the ability to see beyond the initial research into what other areas the data is yielding results will be vital to making this information effective.
In its simplest form Lindsey said “anything that helps you auto-mat tracking is helpful.”