The NBA is currently undergoing a transition in which advanced analytics are being more heavily involved in decision-making, but most agree that it can't replace the human element of actual scouting.
“Sometimes with the analytics and all the other information that’s out there, it sometimes leads to shortcuts that coaches can’t do,” Ainge said. “Coaches need to watch their teams, watch the film, communicate with their players, get the players to play fundamentally sound.
“I think sometimes numbers lead to shortcuts. We’re trying to make sure that that doesn’t happen.”
Brad Stevens is noted for having an analytical approach, but he believes in the importance of watching film.
“The biggest thing is more what you can pick up on the film,” said Stevens.
Rajon Rondo appreciates Ainge's approach.
“I think that’s why Danny is one of the best GMs around,” Rondo said. “He’s a player that played the game. It’s not just about business aspect — well, then again, it is — but you still have to have a feel for the game, have a feel for players, know personnel.
“You just can’t look at a number and say, ‘OK, this guy is shooting 50 percent from the field, 90 percent from the free throw line, put him on this team and have a great season.’ It doesn’t work like that.
“You’ve got to know personalities. I think you’ve got to know the locker room. I think that’s why [Heat president] Pat Riley has done a great job. I don’t know who the GM is for the Spurs, but [him, too].”