Category Archive: NBA

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!



NBA GM Survey

The 2013-14 NBA GM Survey was released last week. All 30 GMs were given 56 questions to answer, but they were not allowed to select their own team or players. After winning two straight titles, the Miami Heat and LeBron James are popular picks. In fact, 75.9% of GMs voted for the Heat to win the NBA Finals, while 69.0% of GMs voted for LeBron to win the MVP again.

However, we decided to take a look at some of the more controversial picks that cannot be quantitatively justified. Our statographic below shows 10 of these questions. If you disagree with the GMs, tweet us your thoughts @statographics!

Click on the graphic to see the large version.