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A Cool Take on Data Visualization in the NBA

Updated: Jun 4, 2019

Here at Breakthrough we have a few rabid sports fans and this infographic that crossed our desks last week was just too cool not to share.

Andrew Bergmann of published a visual representation of how much an NBA starting lineup will pass the ball between 2 players, and the results were pretty awesome.

In Chicago, we all know how evenly the rock is distributed and that claim is backed up here. Also, one could imagine that Chris Paul and Blake Griffin form an epic duo as evidenced on the chart.  But it’s also interesting to see some other combinations such as the Gasol brothers, Pau and Marc of the Lakers and Grizzlies, respectively, shown side by side. It’s clear that they have a propensity to pass way more than the average big man given the thick line drawn from them to their point guard.

The bottom line is that analytics and data visualization have an increasing presence in the sports world where anyone can take a look at a chart and ask why Damian Lillard of the Trailblazers feeds Nicholas Batum and LaMarcus Aldridge at a much higher clip than his other big man, Robin Lopez. Hopefully, the advanced technology that’s becoming more prevalent will lead to more of these interesting visualizations. 

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