|ESPN.com: College Basketball Nation||[Print without images]|
|Mike Krzyzewski's Duke team is the first to use the STATS LLC's SportVU cameras.|
"Early in the spring semester of 2013, Cervone and D’Amour proposed a new project to measure performance value in the NBA. The nature of their idea was relatively simple, but the computation required to pull it off was not. Their core premise was this: Every ‘state’ of a basketball possession has a value ...
It was their belief that, using the troves of SportVU data, we could -- for the first time -- estimate these values for every split second of an entire NBA season. They proposed that if we could build a model that accounts for a few key factors -- like the locations of the players, their individual scoring abilities, who possesses the ball, his on-ball tendencies, and his position on the court -- we could start to quantify performance value in the NBA in a new way. ... Cervone and D’Amour’s central thesis is that no matter where you pause the game, that you could scientifically estimate the ‘expected possession value,’ or EPV, of that possession at that time."
If we can estimate the EPV of any moment of any given game, we can start to quantify performance in a more sophisticated way. We can derive the “value” of things like entry passes, dribble drives, and double-teams. We can more accurately quantify which pick-and-roll defenses work best against certain teams and players. By extracting and analyzing the game’s elementary acts, we can isolate which little pieces of basketball strategy are more or less effective, and which players are best at executing them.