Dynamic metrics add a new dimension to game day for NBA fans

The NBA is tapping new technology to stay at the forefront of innovation. From tracking on-the-court player performance to elevating the fan experience on game day, NBA CourtOptix is using AI to capture and analyze metrics—and give fans a fresh perspective.

There are few more dynamic sporting spectacles than an NBA game, with arguably the best athletes on the planet battling it out for any edge.

During any one NBA game, there are millions of data points that can be analyzed by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools, providing crucial data for teams and coaches to improve performance. Each dribble, pass, and shot, as well as countless other movements, are used as data points to build a better understanding of what’s happening during a game.

Now, with NBA CourtOptix powered by Microsoft Azure, fans will be able to access these insights, too. They’ll be able go beyond the traditional box score with new metrics from the NBA that add color, unlock more storytelling from the game, and offer a deeper analysis of performance metrics—including leaderboards for comparisons to the rest of the league.

Data at the speed of play

These metrics and insights are generated from cutting edge technology powered by Microsoft Azure, mining inputs from a variety of sources including player positional data and traditional box scores—which equates to close to a billion comparison points of analysis per team over the course of the season.

It reduces what used to be a daunting task for the NBA Basketball Stats Analytics team from hours of manually searching through game footage to now having almost real-time insights that generate new dynamic performance metrics and help in understanding player match-ups, switches, defensive plays, and key shots.

NBA CourtOptix in action

Whether it’s highlighting how a player has risen to prominence and where they’ve elevated their game, to how someone ranks in comparison to their counterparts, to the biggest steps forwards a player has taken in a season, NBA CourtOptix provides the insights to tell a richer, deeper story.

For example, take Boston Celtics All-Star forward Jayson Tatum, who has evolved his game each year since his rookie season. With new analysis derived from NBA CourtOptix, the NBA Basketball Stats Analytics team is able to demonstrate that he has become one of the top league performers through two key areas: shooting efficiency and drawing double teams.

NBA CourtOptix helps tell unique stories and trends behind a massive player tracking data set and turns that into interactive content that’s engaging for fans.

Charlie Rohlf, Associate Vice President, Stats Technology Product Development, NBA

Shooting

Using player tracking data analyzing distance from the hoop and the defender, NBA CourtOptix can examine a player’s shooting ability from various locations and in different scenarios.

Breaking down the type of shot, with variations of jumpshots, layups, and dunks, NBA CourtOptix can tell you who is most effective with each type, as well as each player’s most used go-to moves.

Sprint speed

NBA athletes are some of the fastest in the world. Whether it’s getting back on defense, running the break, or exploiting a mismatch, NBA CourtOptix can use player positional data to determine when sprints occur within a game—and tell you which players are putting in maximal effort with the most frequency.

Drawing double teams

Have you ever wondered how effective players are while being double-teamed, or even the average time a particular player is double-teamed? NBA CourtOptix uses player positional data to assess exactly that.

Back up your argument on who the most feared player in the NBA is with real data, showing the player who draws the most double teams in the league.

Defensive scoring

One of the most innovative outcomes of NBA CourtOptix is finally being able to measure and quantify the pressure the defense exerts on the offensive team.

The innovative defensive pressure algorithm makes it possible for the NBA to surface and quantify important defensive activities, such as which players contest the most shots and who gets into passing lanes often.

Dig into the metrics

Check out the players and teams topping the leaderboards of NBA CourtOptix metrics like Double Teams and Defensive Pressure.

NBA CourtOptix will uncover for fans across the globe new aspects of the game that, up until now, have been inaccessible. Whether it’s types of shots, maximal effort, effectiveness on defense, or performance under double-team pressure, NBA CourtOptix breaks it all down, providing leaderboards across the league and adding quantitative data to back up those passionate fan debates.