Kirk Goldsberry was a contributor for Grantland and FiveThirtyEight who is well-known for the shot charts he designs breaking down where players and teams shoot the ball most effectively.
Goldsberry’s ability to break down advanced analytics in easily digestible ways will likely help the Spurs players learn where they are most dangerous on the floor and bolster an offense that already ranks third in the league in offensive rating behind only the Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder. NBA.com provided a list of the top offenses in the league as of Monday:
|Offensive Rating Leaders|
|Team||Record||Offensive Rating (points per 100 possessions)|
|Golden State Warriors||53-5||112.6|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||41-18||109.8|
|San Antonio Spurs||50-9||109.2|
The top five teams in the number of points scored per 100 possessions are also the top five teams in the league’s standings. The Spurs, along with everyone else, are playing catch-up with the Warriors, and the Goldsberry addition is a nontraditional way of helping them do just that.
Howard Beck of Bleacher Report called it “another inspired Spurs signing,” which underscored the fact San Antonio often goes against the traditional grain when looking for ways to win.
San Antonio hired Becky Hammon as an assistant coach before the 2014-15 campaign, which made her the first full-time and paid female assistant in the NBA. She played for the San Antonio Stars as a WNBA superstar and currently works with head coach Gregg Popovich on a number of aspects, including scouting and game-planning.
ESPN.com also said “Popovich and general manager R.C. Buford have long been at the forefront of the league's international influx,” and foreign-born players such as Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw are important pieces for the championship contender.
Goldsberry joins a Spurs team that is 50-9 on the season and only 3.5 games behind the Warriors in the Western Conference, even though the defending champions have the opportunity to break the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls’ record of 72 wins in a regular season.