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Kevin Garnett And Gary Trent Sr. Discuss Analytics In Basketball: "Y'all Let The Analytics People Tell You What To Do... What I Don't Like Is When Analytics Determine The Plays."

Kevin Garnett And Gary Trent Sr. Discuss Analytics In Basketball: "Y'all Let The Analytics People Tell You What To Do... What I Don't Like Is When Analytics Determine The Plays."

Basketball debate has a lot to do with comparing the various eras the NBA has seen since its inception more than 70 years ago. The league has seen various legends come and go, with certain teams and certain styles dominating at different times. One of the biggest changes in the recent history of the NBA has been the reliance on analytics as teams try to get better. 

The '7 second or less' Phoenix Suns, the Golden State Warriors with their three-point shooting, the Houston Rockets with James Harden playing iso alongside shooters, and other teams have been known to rely on analytics, although only the Warriors were able to translate that into championships. 

And while all these teams have changed the game over the last 2 decades, many former players and basketball analysts are not entirely sold on the idea of analytics, even some current ones like Josh Hart have interesting thoughts on them. Speaking on KG: Certified, Gary Trent Sr. and Kevin Garnett had a candid discussion about analytics in the modern game, talking about how teams now perhaps rely too much on the numbers. 

Gary Trent Sr.: “You haven’t found the balance yet, cuz y’all started letting the analytics people tell you what to do. So I’m at the Blazers practice facility and between the top of the key and the NBA three, there was all this blue tape. So I’m like, what’s all this about? And they told me, ‘We don’t want no shots from the two.’ 

"If you gonna shoot an 18-footer, they would rather take the three… Not only do the fans want it, the organization want it. If Steph coming down, and he got a two-on-one, and they kick it to him, you think they want Steph to go to the hole? Or do they want Steph to stop and pop?”

Kevin Garnett: “It’s not even what people want though, it’s what’s best for the play, yo! It’s not on me, like, what I don’t like about analytics is that it’s determining the play. Now I’m teaching you how to play. 

"It ain’t straight up, it ain’t straight up ones or twos or twos or threes no more. Who in the hell can play with that on their mind? ‘Oh snap, he gave me the two at the free-throw line, do I take that?’ Like, come on, man!”

NBA offenses have gone to another level with the introduction of analytics in recent times, but the argument that you still need elite talent and defense to win the championship still rings true. While older players may never entirely warm to the concept of being told how to play by someone crunching numbers, a balanced approach of the two is undoubtedly the right answer.