AirTalk for June 14, 2012

Pro basketball’s version of 'Moneyball'? Two computer scientists are crunching the numbers to change the game

Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One

Pool/Getty Images

Can "moneyball" work for the NBA?

Professional basketball players are working hard as the NBA Finals progress. But behind the scenes, two researchers at USC’s Information Sciences Institute have been working for months to analyze the statistics and data for an entire season of 10 NBA teams.

Rajiv Maheswaran and Yu-Han Chang are collecting a host of information using SportVU optical tracking data. The system takes real time footage captured by video cameras installed in select basketball courts and condenses it into data files, which can then be interpreted and analyzed by the duo.

With the raw data collected by SportVU, Maheswaran and Chang are able to track anything from spatial dynamics and ball trajectories to player velocity and movement.

What patterns have they found thus far? How will their analysis affect the game?

GUESTS

Yu-Han Chang, Research Assistant Professor, USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Information Sciences Institute

Rajiv Maheswaran, Research Assistant Professor, USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Information Sciences Institute


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