The Year of SportVU


For the 2013-2014 NBA season, it was required that every team install STATS’ SportVU technology in their arenas. This technology comes in the form of six cameras that note the coordinates of the ball, ten players, and three refs every 1/25 of a second during a game. This has created an enormously huge dataset for basketball analysts and statisticians to explore. Previously unquantifiable impact, such as defense, is now being measured as a statistic. Research on SportVU data was presented at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference last year, and more will be presented this year. To put it simply, basketball nerds love SportVU.

Since we love visualizing sports data at Statographics, it only made sense for us to look at the newest dataset in sports! has a section of their statistics website devoted solely to this player tracking data, in which any fan can explore. For each player tracking category, we visualized the description of the category, which tends to have many rules, and then we visualized the leaders among the most telling statistics. The result? Four infographics!

* Note: Click on each graphic below to see the entire statographic!

1. Speed/Distance and Touches/Possessions

Who is the fastest player in the NBA? Patty Mills

Who travels the furthest per game? Chandler Parsons, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry.

Who touches and holds the ball the most? John Wall

Who scores the most per touch? Kevin Durant



Interpretation: John Wall carries a large load, and Kevin Durant is super efficient.

2. Drives and Passing

Who drives the most? Ty Lawson

Who scores the most on drives? Monta Ellis

Who passes the most? Kemba Walker

Who leads the league in secondary assists, assist opportunities, and points created by assists? Chris Paul



Interpretation: When Chris Paul is healthy, he is very good at getting his team good shots.

3. Defensive Impact and Rebounding Opportunities

Who doesn’t let his opponent get to the rim and score? Jason Terry

Who controls the most rebounds per chance? Kevin Durant

Who receives the most chances for a rebound? Kevin Love



Interpretation: Three of the best players in the league end up with the ball when it comes near them.

4. Catch and Shoot and Pull Ups

Who attempts and scores the most catch and shoot points? Klay Thompson

Who attempts and scores the most pull up points? Steph Curry

Who has the best effective field goal percentage on catch and shoots? Aaron Brooks

Who has the best effective field goal percentage on pull up jumpers? Courtney Lee


Interpretation: It isn’t easy to defend the Splash Brothers: Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

What Next?

What fun statistics and surprising results have you found in the SportVU data? Tweet us @statographics!



The Season of Manning

Peyton Manning broke a slew of records in 2013 while leading the Denver Broncos to the top seed in the AFC at 13-3.

Manning broke Tom Brady’s NFL record of touchdown passes in a season by passing for 55 touchdowns throughout the year. Demaryius Thomas was Manning’s favorite end zone target with 14 touchdown receptions.

Maning also broke Drew Brees’ record for passing yards in a season by throwing for 5,477 yards this year. His longest pass of the year was a 78 yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas.

Lastly, the Denver Broncos set the NFL record for most points in a season. The record, formerly held by the New England Patriots, now sits at 596 points.

To view a full breakdown of Peyton Manning’s year, take a look at our latest statographic, The Season of Manning.