Contrary to popular belief, the Raptors analytical team appears to have had something in the works for a while. Bet you'd thought you'd never read something like this.
The most important innovation in the NBA in recent years is a camera-tracking system, known as SportVU, that records every movement on the floor and spits it back at its front-office keepers as a byzantine series of geometric coordinates. Fifteen NBA teams have purchased the cameras, which cost about $100,000 per year, from STATS LLC; turning those X-Y coordinates into useful data is the main challenge those teams face.1
Some teams are just starting with the cameras, while others that bought them right away are far ahead and asking very interesting questions. Those 15 teams have been very secretive in revealing how they've used the data, but one team that has made serious progress — the Toronto Raptors — opened up the black box in a series of meetings this month with Grantland.
I definitely wasn't expecting this,...hopefully the benefits of this can be reaped sooner rather than later....and hopefully the coaching staff can put this to good use moving forward.