Pistons just stole analytics guru from the Golden State Warriors

By Sean Corp

The Detroit Pistons made a major addition to their front office by poaching Sammy Gelfand, 31, away from the Golden State Warriors to head up the organization’s analytics efforts, according to The Athletic.

Gelfand has been called an “analytics guru” and was labeled the “left side of Steve Kerr’s brain” in a recent New York Times profile.

Gelfand has been with the analytics department in Golden State for the past five season. As head of analytics he was responsible for compiling pre- and post-game reports and was extremely influential on strategy, lineups and more.

The NYT profile by Marc Stein from the NBA Finals is a great read, but I’ll pull out some of the most illuminating pieces of info as we think about how Detroit could benefit from Gelfand’s addition.

The Warriors’ coaches lean on him for his in-game video skills and statistical support to such a degree that Gelfand occupies a seat behind their bench during home games and whenever he travels with the team. Although this is the N.B.A.’s analytics age, Gelfand’s vantage point is an extreme rarity.

Gelfand got some prime TV time when the superstar Curry, recovering from a sprained knee, insisted on sitting beside him during multiple first-round playoff games. But his claim to fame during Golden State’s four-season run of roaring success might be his role in helping the Warriors establish 300 passes as their nightly team...

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