Early this season, Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins was asked if he believed in analytics — the attempt to superimpose the order of numbers onto the chaos of basketball.

“No. If I did that, I’d blow my brains out,” Collins told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “There’s 20-page printouts after every game. I would kill myself.

“My analytics are here,” Collins continued, pointing to his head, “and here,” pointing to his gut.

This is an increasingly untenable position in the NBA, at least publicly. For saying what many coaches still believe, Collins was painted as the league’s longest surviving Neanderthal.

The angry reaction to Collins’ stodginess (and the season-long pratfall by his club) was a tipping point. Analytics are to this year’s NBA season what beards were at the Academy Awards — something not so new as to be shocking, but still cool enough to attract would-be hipsters.

This may be why the Raptors decided recently to open up the guts of their own analytics skunkworks and show them to Grantland writer Zach Lowe. Lowe’s piece is fascinating inside baseball.

It explains how the Raptors use a camera technology called SportsVU to break down every play of every game into a series of computer coordinates. Fifteen NBA teams use SportsVU. The software that determines how the data is turned into a graphic representation of the way the game is played is proprietary, unique in each case.

Fourteen teams decided that sort of information is best kept to themselves. One team decided to pull back the curtain and let ESPN see Oz at work.