Wednesday, March 10, 2010

MIT Sports Analytics Conference

Here’s a brief recap on last weekend’s MIT Sports Analytics Conference. The conference doubled in size from last year, and again delivered invaluable information for sports agents. This post only covers highlights on basketball topics.

One of the most interesting exchanges dealt with how NBA teams value clutch performance. Rockets GM Daryl Morey said he likes when players have shown strong clutch performance in the past, but he wouldn’t spend millions on a player based on that. Mark Cuban countered by saying he would pay for it, and cited Jason Kidd as one example.

Morey later explained that their research revealed how well Kevin Martin had performed against tough opposing defenses before trading for him at the deadline. Agents may want to emphasize this point for their free agents who excel in this area.

Cuban believes certain NBA teams have an advantage in analytics. Why does he think that? For one, he examines the combinations that some teams place on the court. By comparing that to data that the Mavericks research, he knows which clubs are informed and not, as some of these lineups have poor track records.

Morey also said the Rockets thoroughly research how well a player will perform in their system versus with their current team before acquiring them.

Agents can feel free to contact me for a more detailed rundown on the conference.