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How data is changing the game of basketball

Metta World Peace #51 of the New York Knicks takes a shot with pressure from Dwight Howard #12 of the Houston Rockets during the second half at Madison Square Garden on November 14, 2013 in New York City. The Rockets defeat the Knicks 109-106. 

Today, Marketplace Tech kicks off a new series about sports and technology. We're calling it “Gaming the System." We'll be talking Olympics, World Cup, and yes, this Sunday's Super Bowl. But first let's talk about how some people are using numbers and data tracking to try and change the way basketball is played.

Tonight, when the Philadelphia 76ers take on the Phoenix Suns, the players will each be affixed with a tiny GPS unit from a company called Catapult Technology.

"They're basically the size of, like, an apple core, and you wear them under your jersey," says 76ers superfan and blogger at Hoop76, Tom Sunnergren. "What the team can then do is get a baseline measure of how a player's optimal performance is during a practice, and then, you know, make comparisons over the course of the season.

To hear more about the 76ers' GPS units and what the team hopes to do with the data culled from them, click the audio player above.

 

About the author

Ben Johnson is the host of Marketplace Tech.

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