Pick and roll and post play

pick and rollQ: What teams are the best at running the pick and roll, and what kind of personnel is best suited to run a lot of it?
— Antonio

The Spurs stick out to me as one of the NBA’s top pick and roll teams.

They’ve ranked among the NBA’s elite teams in that category since they paired Tony Parker and Tim Duncan together.

A few things come to mind for me when I think about the Spurs or any elite pick and roll team:

  1. You want a point guard who can read defenses quickly and accurately, a skill that isn’t intangible but that is often glossed over in mainstream basketball coverage.


What analytics can tell us about shot selection and consistency

You don’t need a PhD in statistics from Harvard to learn meaningful information from numbers.

There are a lot of things you can find out very easily, if you know what to look for and what to ignore.

Ian Levy of Hickory High and I talked about how some basic metrics can give us valuable insights into concepts like shot selection and consistency on the court.


How Vantage Sports can change the way we evaluate defense

Vantage SportsAnother cool tool!

(I have fun times with rhymes.)

(Okay, that’s enough.)

Vantage Sports is a sports analytics company that combines advanced data tracking (like SportVU) and human logging (like Synergy) to create a really powerful new vehicle for evaluating basketball.

I’m especially excited about the metrics they’re introducing on the defensive end, including closeouts, on-ball and of-ball screen defense, and different aspects of help defense.

On the offensive side, their data is so detailed that it includes things like individual crossovers and dribble moves.

I talked with Brett McDonald, the CEO of Vantage Sports, about how Vantage Sports can change the way we look at important parts of the game.


How SportVU is revolutionizing the NBA

SportVUMaybe you’ve heard about SportVU by now, but do you know EXACTLY how NBA teams are using it to get ahead?

Let’s back up for a second.

SportVU is the camera-tracking system put in place by STATS LLC.

All 29 NBA arenas and a few college ones now feature SportVU cameras.

It measures an incredible number of things that happen on the court.

It’s led to the creation of metrics that measure things like rim protection, running speed, running distance, and passing.

I spoke with Brian Kopp, Senior Vice President, Sports Solutions at STATS LLC. Brian’s been working with SportVU for years.