Last week, ESPN announced it had hired Dean Oliver as its director of analytics. Most may be unfamiliar with the name, but a certain segment of hardcore NBA fans will recognize Oliver as the first advanced metrics consultant in NBA history and, most recently, the Denver Nuggets' director of quantitative research. Oliver authored the bible of advanced basketball metrics -- Basketball On Paper -- and spurred (with some help from baseball's sabermetric movement) the ongoing NBA stats revolution.â†µ
His job at ESPN is to devise and refine the statistics the network presents to viewers, listeners and readers. But it turns out he'll also write a bit. He tackled the Miami Heat's problems on TrueHoop today, and determines that the stars of the team are dribbling too much.