In this era of sports, the rise of analytics have played a major role. Some franchises have used them to build entire teams while in other sports, the numbers can influence every move made during the actual game.
As a young coach the Los Angeles Lakers, Luke Walton is familiar with analytics, but doesn’t necessarily rely on them. A lack of belief in analytics was something that was criticized with the Lakers’ previous regime.
Now with president of basketball operations Magic Johnson, general manager Rob Pelinka and Walton on the same page analytics have been implemented, but not to an extreme degree.
“It’s something that I use for suggestions and developing game plans,” Walton recently said. “Once the game starts, I’m not going to lean on the fact that this group has done this. It’s going to be who I feel is playing well that night.
“We first do it on what we’re seeing as a coaching staff. Then we’ll go to the analytical team and ask them to support some stuff one way or another. If there’s something that is interesting that we’re trying to figure out, we’ll try to manipulate and practice it a little bit, or maybe in games to get a closer look at it. But for the most part we rely on what we’re seeing, the pulse and feel of the team.”
This has been something that Walton has done since taking over the team. For the most part, those who are playing well will get longer runs and finish games.
Many would say this is the proper use of analytics. Walton finds out certain trends or information that he needs from them and then uses it to implement the necessary changes. Whatever Walton can do to ensure the success of the Lakers he is going to do and analytics will play at least some role in his future success.