Basketball has been evolving since its inception during the winter of 1891. A myriad of factors have played into its growth and evolution over time, among them being the subject of this paper: the integration of advanced statistics and analytics. Taking inspiration from baseball's analytics revolution, a sport that is vastly different from basketball, coaches and statisticians began to innovate new ways to evaluate teams and players outside of the constraints of the traditional basketball box score. In recent decades, their work has spread throughout the basketball community, and now both fans and team front offices alike have found value in the application of empirical analysis to professional basketball. The effects of their work have emerged with the passage of time, and can be seen both on and off the court. Through advanced analytics, players and teams have shifted their focus towards efficient play, which has resulted in the exploitation of the very geometry of the basketball court itself. Recent technological innovations look to push this trend into a new era, and hint at the future of the sports fan experience. In short, basketball has not had a strong relationship with statistics. Early basketball statistics were born out of convenience, and over time the statisticians of the sport introduced new ways to quantify team and player performances. This paper looks to examine this progression over time, and show that advanced statistics and analytics have firmly planted themselves in the way basketball is viewed, evaluated, and covered.
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- Basketball Analytics: How We Got Here and Where We're Going
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