Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt, who wrote Freakonomics and have a blog by the same name, have written a column about the Celtics’ attempt to use the kind of rigorous statistical analysis that Bill James has made popular throughout baseball while working for the Boston Red Sox
The Boston Celtics, owned by several men with venture-capital backgrounds, have for the past few years been one of the most data-driven teams in the N.B.A. They have also just completed the biggest single-season turnaround in history, entering the playoffs two weeks ago with a league-best 66 victories after winning just 24 games last year.
Coincidence? Probably, for the Celtics obtained two monstrously accomplished players in the off-season, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. It didn’t take a statistician to tell you that the Celtics would be a lot better this year than last.
But the team also employs what the general manager, Danny Ainge, calls his “secret weapon,” a 32-year-old named Mike Zarren, who seems to know every data point about every N.B.A. player, past and present. Garnett calls him Numbers…
Read the entire column here.