September 16, 2015
Did Geeks Take Over Basketball? The Rise of Analytics
Sports are a major part of modern day American culture, and the nation’s top flight of basketball is no exception. The National Basketball Association, more commonly referred to as the NBA, is one of the most popular sporting leagues in the world. With that being said, it comes with no surprise that it continues to progress in all possible facets. One of the more intriguing facets is the rise of in depth analytics to create a new, more accurate era of basketball statistics. In an article for The Atlantic, Terrance F. Ross elaborates on the topic and the controversy surrounding it to during his brilliantly written ...view middle of the document...
Ross creates this piece in order to present the facts that come along with this new wave of data, and show how it will benefit the future of the league that he loves. He feels that despite the proven results, analytics in the National Basketball Association is still receiving more opposition than it deserves. With that being said, Ross recognizes that the public is not going to be swayed simply by being presented with more statistics, being that they are the basis of the phenomenon. He sets out to push across his ideas in a way that the average reader would find more manageable than the complex number systems that comprise his topic.
The previous notion sets up Ross’ article for two distinct audience groups. Both sects of the potential audience are basketball fans, especially those of the NBA. Therefore, it will be dominated by the male population, while females may still be inclined to read. The initial group contains those that are not fully convinced of the benefits of the analytics movement. These people are generally of the elder variety due to the fact that they do not want to see this movement change the game from the way it was played in their era. On the other end of the spectrum lies those who are believers in the cause, that simply wish to know more about what the future holds for it. This is generally the younger, more highly educated demographic. The reasoning behind this is that the younger crowd wants to see the most exciting brand of basketball imaginable, and this new data has the ability to provide that. Kirk Goldsberry of Grantland Sports says “I think the NBA is in a better position now than it’s ever been… The league is more analytic... and I think more aesthetically pleasing, than ever before.” As for the higher educational level, the overall topic of analytics can be a lot to grasp, hence possibly scaring away the less educated from accepting it.
Ross hopes to create a design for the article that would easily appeal to all of his intended audiences. The appearance of the surrounding page can be equally important, and this is what draws the reader in, and gives them their initial idea of the type of work that they will be reading. Ross’ article utilizes a mainly black and white color scheme. This seemingly bland layout is representative of how statistics and analytics are often considered “black and white”, or clear-cut. There is no room for debate with these new statistics. They are set in stone, which is part of the reason that it has sparked such controversy.
Another important aspect of the design is the way that Ross organizes his sentence and paragraph structure. He realizes that there is no shortage of information that he would have to include in order to create an entertaining and convincing article. Therefore, the article would inherently be of the longer variety. In order to make it seem more manageable to the average reader, he used concise paragraphs, and never stayed on a specific example for an extended...