Mark Cuban adds to the Spurs’ analytics department
by Jon Styf


Sports are getting more sophisticated by the day, and those Billy Beane and “Moneyball” get all the credit in baseball, basketball’s stat-heads and analytics leaders are a little more subtle.

But they are out there. And there are more of them every year.

While the Spurs recently hired a new European trainer, Xavi Schelling, to head its department of applied sport science, essentially innovating their training techniques, the Dallas Mavericks made a huge makeover of its analytics department.

When asked how many people he added to the department, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said “I don’t even know. We have all these interns and remote, virtual people. It could be 20 for all I know.”

Cuban is playing coy, of course, because he’s an incredibly talented and successful business man trying to brag without giving away all of his business secrets.

Why expand?

Quite simply, Cuban isn’t happy with how last season ended for his team. It’s the reason he went aggressively after Chandler Parsons.

Cuban has had Roland Beech, the founder of, in charge of a department to analyze advanced stats. But, over the offseason, he expanded that department from three people.

Cuban and Beech have been making news since 2011, when they shocked the NBA world by their use of J.J. Barea to beat the Miami Heat. While some criticized the choice, Cuban told Deadspin at the time that he put faith in his stats people.

“the stats they used in the article dont show match ups by lineup against lineup. IN a playoff series, while the information isnt perfect, the longer the series, the better the information. So we knew which lineups worked against which of their lineups. We also then had to build in substitution patterns and expected responses to change. Things that Coach Carlisle is great at. Its a chess match.

“Plus, Using stats arent always about putting your best combination out there, but sometimes about trying to get them to put their worst combination of players on the floor and then getting them to do things they are least comfortable with,” Cuban wrote to Deadspin. “net, net, as I always have said, the one thing that stats, no matter which stats you use, dont take into account is coaching. Making the right decisions with the stats is more important than knowing what the numbers are.”

Full article here.

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