There hasn't been a lot of good news surrounding the Indiana Pacers lately, but today I bumped into some great news that bolsters my confidence in the rebuilding work facing the Pacers over the next couple of years.
Advanced statistical analysis has evolved in basketball over the past several years to the point where some teams are using the leaders in the field to analyze and help make personnel decisions. Daryl Morey's work with the Houston Rockets has been the gold standard for using proprietary numbers to make the most out of limited resources. Despite injuries and major salary cap hits sustained by losing Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady, Morey has pieced together a competitive team in the strong Western Conference.
I've always worried that the Pacers may be relying too heavily on an "old school" approach with their numbers analysis and scouting. There's no magic formula to make everything better, but including a different approach as an additional decision-making tool seems like a no-brainer. The "old schol" analysis (for lack of a better term) remains valuable but verifying it against further statisitcal analysis which may raise additional questions or expose holes has to be a good thing, right?
So imagine my delight when I read this little snippet at the end of Kevin Pelton's latest The State of APBRMetrics post at Basketball Prospectus.
Given my discussion of teams hiring APBRmetricians, it is with no shortage of irony that I note that I am now among them. Recently, I have been working with the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers front office has been gracious in allowing me to continue to write for Basketball Prospectus while doing some consulting for them, so for the most part you the reader will not see any impact. The exception is that, for obvious reasons, I want to avoid writing about Indiana. Bradford, who already wrote the Pacers chapter in Pro Basketball Prospectus 2009-10, should help fill in any gaps.
Pelton has been instrumental in bringing basketball statistical analysis to the masses through his writing on the topic at Basketball Prospectus, 82Games.com and APBRMetrics forums over the years. Plus, he's a U-Dub grad so you know he's all good.
After the jump, a few more links of interest:
Granger focuses through distractions
Bruno's latest Caught In The Web focuses on Danny Granger trying to push through a tough season so far to continue improving.
Nuggets' Andersen blocks out the hurting
Chris Dempsey reports on the Nuggets prepping for the Pacers and the Birdman trying to play through pain.
Oden works on another rehab
Mike Wells caught up with Greg Oden while in Portland to see how the former Lawrence North star was progressing with his rehab from a severe knee injury earlier in the season.
Magic vs. Bird, Reggie Miller vs. the Knicks, and HBO vs. ESPN
Alan Sepinwall compares and contrasts the pending airing of documentaries involving Larry Bird and Reggie Miller.