In 2005, the National Basketball Association’s Houston Rockets were looking for a talented player to add to their roster. The usual scouting reports and analyses delivered a list of names. Some of them were unavailable or too expensive, and others did not seem like the right ft for the team.
Then, using advanced analytics capabilities, the Rockets’ general manager identified a player named Shane Battier as the one the team most needed.
Not everyone was convinced. By most conventional measures—points scored, rebounds, blocked shots—Battier was simply an average player. But Houston’s analysis went one step further. The organization was able to measure how other team members performed whenever Battier was on the court. By that standard, Battier stood above his peers. Whenever he was on the court, no matter where he was playing, his teammates got better and his opponents got worse. Battier has gone on to be a star with Houston.