For a team that, according to Charles Barkley, doesn’t deal in analytics, the Spurs are sure good at them. The defending champions, long known as one of the foremost proponents in the quest for detailed data that has swept through the NBA, were honored as the best analytics team in professional sports, while general manager R.C. Buford was honored with a lifetime achievement award Saturday in Boston at the 2015 Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. “Analytics” is a broad term, covering everything from the data gathered by advanced cameras hanging in the rafters of NBA arenas to injury prevention to the projection of future player performance. Whatever the particular avenue, the Spurs have usually been at the forefront. Not only did they purchase the aforementioned SportVU camera system before it became mandatory, they’re one of the first teams in the NBA to expand their medical staff with sports scientists. The majority of those initiatives have come under Buford, who took over as the Spurs’ general manager in 2002. With Buford working in lockstep with team president/head coach Gregg Popovich, the Spurs have won four championships while winning at least 50 games and never missing the playoffs in each season.