This is a great read from USA Today’s Sam Amick regarding the widespread use of data in sports and how to combine its use with an individual’s “feel” for a game.
I like what Brent Barry had to say. As a fellow basketball broadcaster I try to gather as many statistics as possible and predict situations that could happen in the course of a game.
However, sometimes players, coaches, and broadcasters alike, must rely on their own instinctive knowledge of the game in analyzing a given situation. I like to often say that basketball is a game of infinite situations. It is impossible for us to prepare for all of them.To Barry’s point, you can prepare your own wisdom for a broadcast. However, there are situations that arise in a game that you may not have thought about in your preparation. What you still have is the working knowledge of an individual player or a team to connect them to the given game situation.
For instance, why didn’t the Pacers have Paul George take the last shot in game 2 against the Cavs? Well, the Pacers probably have practiced this situation at some point this season (at least, I hope) but Paul George had to analyze it on his own.
Never mind that he has been playing very well, George was double-teamed and, in that given situation, he would have had to force up a shot against two defenders (one was LeBron).
Brent Barry and I may not have made a statistical note about this going into this game so we would need to analyze the game situation as it is.