Daryl Morey will SmartBomb you into oblivion

Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated Chris offers an illuminating portrait of everybody's favorite calculator maven... His finger is always on the red button.

Sports illustrated put out a gushing piece about Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey in its December issue (the one with Andrew Luck on the cover) and while the article doesn't really cover too much new ground or say anything about the GM that will change your life, it does offer some additional facts about the inner-workings of the Rockets front office.

Most notably this little snippet:

In addition to the team's proprietary databases and evaluation systems, which Morey is hesitant to discuss publicly, the Rockets were the first NBA team to install SportVU, which is based on Israeli missile-tracking technology and uses tiny webcams installed in an arena's rafters to record the X/Y coordinates of each player 72,000 times a game. This leads to an ocean of data that allows teams to determine, for example, how many dribbles a player takes in a game or how efficient a shooter is when a defender is four feet away versus one.


Can't you just imaging Morey in this darklit command center in a press box that doesn't show up in the Toyota Center's blue prints pacing around the room eating a Chik-fil-a sandwhich yelling at his subordinates,
"Adjust the angle on that image!"

"There's Dwight, give me a wide on him on monitor 1"


The Rockets must be sitting on terrabytes upon terrabytes of all sorts of useful metrics we've never even heard of, not to mention all the cleavage pics and bald spots that must come from such an apparatus.

The article is a great read and certainly worth your time. It covers the specifics of the Harden deal and retreads some ground about Chuck Heyes and Rafer Alston but it really got me wondering about this SportsVU stuff.

Here's an article from FactsCoDesign that talks a lot more about this technology

Apparently 10 teams in the NBA have installed this technology. Of those 10, four made it to the playoffs last year. One made it to the finals, the OKC Thunder. This means that the Rockets had access to a wealth of information in acquiring James Harden. And while the Rockets can only chart home games at the Toyota Center, a sharing agreement allows the Rockets to mine the data of the nine other teams who employ this service.

The evaluation applications from this software can be endless, Daryl Morey is probably in front of his laptop right now with a bottle of Jergins and a calculator trying to figure out if Harden makes more shots with his beard neatly trimmed or at full Brawn scruff. But as with all data, its not what you get but how you use it. I really wonder what kind of edge and how much this technology has influenced the bevy of trades that Morey executed.

I do wonder what else we can use it for during Rockets events.

Like, which peanut vendor has the best arm in isles located closest to the equator?

Which beer vendor spills the least amount of alchohol in the stands?

Is Clutch the Bear better at walking across the stands after starting a wave or doing Gangnam Style?

I have to find out.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Dream Shake

You must be a member of The Dream Shake to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Dream Shake. You should read them.

Join The Dream Shake

You must be a member of The Dream Shake to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Dream Shake. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.