A friend noted that in the graphs in my previous post, it is difficult to tell how shot volume changes with Hibbert on and off court. My initial goal was to have the same amount of paint on the on and off court graphs, so the volume of colored area could be compared directly. That would let us see, for example, if opposing teams take more shots in the paint when Hibbert sits.
Unfortunately, I can’t figure out a way to do this. The problem is that so much of the shot volume is near the basket (about 40% within 8 feet). This makes it difficult to represent shot volume proportionally, as the squares near the basket would have to be enormous. In the graphs on the previous post, I had to use a log scale to make the graphs visually interpretable.
Another possibility, however, is some kind of heat map. The heat maps below show shot locations of the opposing team with Hibbert on and off the court.
Hibbert on court
This post is about the amazing Roy Hibbert
. It has been a long time since my last post because I have been writing a tool for collecting and analyzing NBA game data. The first fruit of that effort is the two graphs below. Before I get to them, I have to explain why I thought any of this was worth doing in the first place.
NBA observers are always talking about how some player makes everyone around him better. This sports cliche is almost always used in basketball to talk about point guards or a combo/wing player with good court vision in the mold of Kobe or LeBron. The ‘makes his teammates better’ meme is actually particularly apt for describing basketball. Sure, a quarterback and a receiver need each other, and a quarterback needs his offensive line. And yeah, one bad fielder can ruin a good double play. But teammates in these sports are not as reliant on each other as the five players on a basketball court are.