Bummed out that injuries torpedoed your favorite team’s playoff hopes this season? Wish we didn’t have to see Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo in street clothes for most of the season?
You’re not alone. The NBA teams are right there with you. The effects of an injury can bleed into just about every corner of a team. Fans are less likely to tune in if Jodie Meeks is playing the 2 instead of Bryant. GMs are on the hook if a big signing pulls up limp. Coaches turn into a walking scapegoat when injuries pile up and teams fall short of expectations. No player wants the sticky "soft" label if they need to miss time to nagging injuries. Everyone in the sport wants a clean bill of health.
For an NBA team, injuries aren't just a buzzkill; they’re a giant hole in the owner's wallet. According to analysis by Rotowire’s Jeff Stotts, the average NBA team wastes about $10 million in salary from games missed because of injury. Some of that shortfall is picked up by insurance, but it also doesn't capture the serious hit to ticket sales, merchandise purchases and other revenue streams.
Bottom line: Injuries are incredibly costly in terms of wins and dollars. This is why injury prevention analytics is becoming the hottest trend in NBA circles.
And now two titans in the industry are teaming up to help teams manage their injury risk and keep their stars on the floor.
This week, STATS Inc. and Catapult Sports have agreed to a partnership that will integrate SportVU 3D-tracking data from games and Catapult GPS-tracking data from practices into one package for teams, which will be officially presented to NBA front-office executives, trainers and strength coaches next week at the 2014 NBA draft combine in Chicago. This fills the gap for teams looking to streamline all their player work data into one digestible dashboard. Consider it one-stop shopping.
“You jump into your car, check the gas tank, check the oil, make sure the GPS is working and off you go,” says Gary McCoy, Catapult’s senior applied sports scientist. “We want to put a dashboard on these guys. We want to know when they’re red-lining and when they’re out of gas. And if we can do that in a compelling manner, which is what SportVU brought to the equation for Catapult. We’ll have a formula beyond compare. We had to get that data compartmentalized and presented to coaches so they can make informed decisions.”
For analysis on the partnership between Catapult and SportVU, read Haberstroh at ESPN Insider.