The Brooklyn Nets are finally joining the rest of the NBA when it comes to modern analytics. In addition to hiring Lawrence Frank’s stats coach this offseason and promoting statistical analyst Scott Sereday, they will also have SportVU cameras installed in the Barclays Center, according to Ian Parfrey of Brooklyn Fans.
SportVU cameras are six small military grade cameras install in the arena’s rafters that track the motion of the players on the court. The purpose of this is to compile data on the offensive and defensive habits of the players to use for analytics. It literally tracks all movement. Every shot, every pass, every touch, how long they’ve touched it for, how often the team scores when certain players touch the ball, everything.
It also has a cool feature where it can track defensive movements and plays it back along with ghost players who are properly executing the same defensive movements. So a player can actually see what they are doing wrong on defense. The same can be done on offense.
“This is everything we’ve been charting, all-encompassing, and so much more, and it’s all sortable,” one Eastern Conference executive told Zach McCann of ESPN. “This isn’t something I ever thought possible.”
Last season it was used by 15 teams in the NBA who each shelled out roughly $100,000 to install the system. The NBA wanted them in all arenas and is paying for cameras for the rest of the 15 teams in the league, including the Nets.
Why did the Nets wait so long? They’ve never really been a team that puts a lot of faith in analytics. That seems like it is changing though which is a good thing. This might have been technically mandatory, but hiring stats coach Charles Klask and promoting their own statistical analyst guy certainly weren’t mandatory. It seems like the Nets are now looking to get every edge they can. With over $180 million invested in next year’s team, they’d better be.