Remember geographer Kirk Goldsberry’s analysis of shot efficiency on the basketball court? Jeremy White, Joe Ward, and Matthew Ericson give it the New York Times treatment in this interactive version for this season’s finals teams, the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder. Like Goldsberry’s maps, the shooting area of the basketball court is treated as the region of interest where bin size represents shot frequency and color represents efficiency. Roll over the regions to see the exact numbers.
The fun part is with the breakdowns though, and they clearly had some fun with exploding faces for the individual players. Compare Lebron James to Kevin Durant or Dwyane Wade to Russell Westbrook. I like how James Harden is either three-point or in the paint with little in between, whereas Westbrook is all over the court.
You can also see the charts for shot type: three-pointers, mid-range, and close range.
A lot of the time interaction is just added for the heck of it, but this treatment makes Goldsberry’s maps more easily digestible in a smaller space.
P.S. Looking forward to OKC beating the Heat in six.