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Free NBA iPad app targets stats geeks

The first application for iPad from the NBA is free and intended to be a companion for watching the playoffs starting in a few weeks.

iPad games NBA
The NBA's iPad app is designed to be used while watching games. NBA

Everyone has an iPad app--or it just feels that way since I've been inundated with press releases about them since Thursday--but the NBA's is interesting for a few reasons.

First, it's free. And second, the NBA is looking at the iPad as a different use case than every other mobile platform. Pro basketball has more than 100 apps, if you count each variation of them released for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry. But the iPad app, called NBA Game Time: Courtside, is not just a reformatted iPhone app for a larger screen.

"It's completely different from the ground up," said Bryan Perez, the president of the NBA's Digital Group. "One you pull out of your pocket, the other is sitting on your desk or coffee table."

The iPad app is supposed to be a companion to people watching the game, or in this case, the NBA playoffs, which start in just a few weeks. Unlike the iPhone app that you're probably using to stay updated on a game you're missing while you're at the airport or work or on the bus home, the Courtside app assume you're watching on TV.

It's really for stats geeks who don't want to rely on the announcers for all their information.

"We give them the info our TV analysts would have at their fingertips," said Perez.

With some finger swipes you can watch a game and delve into the type of live-updated stats that NBA analysts Doug Collins or Reggie Miller would have while they're sitting courtside calling a game. You can tap any player or team on the screen and see his/their stats as well as shot charts and shooting percentage from different areas on the floor. There's also real-time scoring, updated video highlights, play by play, news updates from around the league and tweets from the NBA's official Twitter account.

You might be thinking, "Bad timing, since the NBA season is basically over." And yes, it is in about two weeks. But this application is specifically for the playoffs. You can get it Saturday, and until the postseason begins, it will show the current playoff picture, and update depending on how the last games of the season go down.

Additional screenshots after the jump:

NBA iPad app
iPad NBA

NBA iPad