Average Made Shot Location - NBA Regular Season 2012-13


In the 2012-13 regular season, tens of thousands of shots were taken. How can we visualize these in a useful manner? What is the average location of successful shot attempts? How do the top 50 players compare?

Note: In terms of magnitude, the points above fall roughly within the key.

Interesting observations:

  • Outliers or rather, those players who are the most different:

    • Omer Asik and Dwight Howard very close to the basket

    • Stephen Curry and Jarrett Jack very far from the basket

    • Kevin Martin way out to the left

  • Right-hand bias. The majority of players are making shots on average from the right-hand side of the court

  • Trend. Notice that the dots seem to form a line. ┬áThe majority of the players are on the right-hand side and as you move further from the basket, they also move further right. This may reveal something fundamental about the game, that there is some sort of ideal-angle to be shooting from. Note that the points on the left-hand side may have a similar trend, but it's not as strong.

Know something about basketball? What insights do you get from this chart?

More about this from a data visualization perspective in another post.

See also my work on the average passing direction in the English Premier League (Football (Soccer)):