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New age of NBA analytics: Advantage or overload?

Jay Wessel of the Celtics reviews the feeds from the six SportVu cameras at TD Garden.
Jay Wessel of the Celtics reviews the feeds from the six SportVu cameras at TD Garden.barry chin/globe staff

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Using Israeli missile-tracking technology, six SportVU cameras — one positioned over each basket, two over each sideline — capture the movements of the basketball, all 10 players on the floor, and the three referees 25 times per second throughout NBA games while beaming gigabytes of data into computer servers.

The system offers an ocean of new and innovative information — everything from how fast a player ran to how many times he passed or dribbled the ball to where they were on every possession. It offers, in theory, a valuable new competitive edge.

Yet what that data can and can’t do is at the center of a debate about not just SportVU but analytics in general. There are those who believe the secret to winning is in the numbers; many strongly disagree.

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