It’s a great day in sports analytics. Today I’m going to briefly discuss coaching assistance models, a sports analytics method that aids coaches and analysts in determining the best course of action for a team… a model that works especially well in basketball.
The coaching assistance model involves the use of ball screens (commonly known as pick and rolls). In ball screens, an offensive player helps the ball-handler elude his/her defender and make a shot or pass by getting in between the ball handler and defender and creating space for the ball handler. When the offensive player sets a screen for a teammate, the player here is referred to as the screener.
This model uses the SportsVU position data system that helps identifies ball screens, the defensive pattern used and the possession outcome of the screen.
For executing ball screens, four players are involved- the ball handler, the screener, the ball handler defender, and the screener defender.
In these type of coaching assistance models, defensive strategies can fall into any of these categories:
- Over: the ball handler defender is between the ball handler and the screener.
- Switch: when the screener defender switches place with the ball handler defender.
- Under: when the ball handler defender player is not with the ball handler and the screener.
- Trap/double teaming – when both defenders doubleteam(blocks) the ball handler.
The team defensive strategy to use is chosen based on the offensive skill of the ball handler as well as his shooting ability. SportsVU position data models allow coaches and sports analysts to analyze how individual players score against the different defenses and thus, help to determine the best defensive strategy to use against individual players.
For example, if the SportsVU position data show that a particular player/ball handler is particularly adroit at scoring against the switch defense, the team could suggest employing another strategy to improve their winning chances.
Other advantages of this model are:
- Teams can identify areas of poor defensive performance.
This can improve their chances of winning in other subsequent games.
- The performance of a player during a game can be accessed as it detects what strategy works bests for a ball handler or screener. This further guides in developing strategies to improve his gaming skill.
- It enables analysts determine the best possible defensive pairs and their most effective form of defense. This can help them optimize their players in for better performance.
In conclusion, the primary aim of performing sports analytics is to help teams identify their area of weakness and strength so as determine the best course of action thereby, improving their sporting performance.
With the use of this model, basketball teams can have a better understanding of player’s str ategies as well as what players will best fit in a competition against their opponents.
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