Tag Archives: shooting

Shot locations and shooting efficiency in graphs

LeagueAvg

The percentage of a team’s points, sorted by location.

Sometimes I get bored and look for unusual topics to post about, which eventually leads to spending too much time on something like making graphs revolving around scoring and defense.

The graphs I made are pretty basic, I suppose. I might have fun with more over the weekend but I’ll just show what I fooled around with already. Basically, there are four different graphs for every team: team point distribution across six locations, team effective field goal percentage in five of those spots, and the same two for a team’s defense. All of the stats I used were from NBA.com.

The point distribution graphs show what percentage of a team’s points come from the restricted area, paint not in the restricted area, mid-range, the corner three, above the break three, and free throws. I experimented with field goal attempts per spot, but the graphs compared to point distribution looked about the same.

Below is a GIF of all 30 teams, sorted in alphabetical order. (The picture above the first paragraph was the league average for point distribution.)

Team points on Make A Gif

I can certainly post individual team graphs at another time, but I chose not to here for the sake of the amount of space it would take up.

That doesn’t mean we can’t compare some, though.

Portland and Houston are quite a contrast in styles, given one’s love for the mid-range jumper (and for a very legitimate reason) while the other neglects that part of the floor.

They both value the three equally, however:

Portland-Hou on Make A Gif

Philadelphia is somewhat similar to Houston except they rarely score from the corner three and their mid-range game is more prevalent. Also, they might have the right idea on offense but as we’ve seen recently they don’t score all that well and they struggle to defend. More on that in a bit. For now: POOR THADDEUS YOUNG.

Among other similarities are Atlanta, Brooklyn, Golden State, the Lakers, and Toronto all looking alike too.

Starting from the restricted area and going clockwise, the leader in points distributed to each category are: the Detroit Pistons (41.72%), Memphis (14.21%), Boston (22.62%), New York (21.41%), Miami (10.68%), and Houston (20.47%).

Below are graphs for where a team allows points:

Defense Distribute on Make A Gif

Among other teams, Indiana’s offense and defense are quite similar, for better or for worse.

The leaders in each category, starting at the restricted area and going clockwise are the Lakers (36.65%), Golden State (12.14%), Indiana (23.19%), Oklahoma City (18.98%), Miami (8.39%), and Phoenix (19.95%).

Effective field goal percentage from those areas of the floor — minus the free throw line — were another batch of charts I made for each team for the heck of it. You can really see where some offenses are great and others struggle from, though it won’t paint the clearest picture. The same goes for defense.

Below is offensive EFG%:

Team EFG% on Make A Gif

Miami’s efficiency is pretty freaky, especially when compared to Philadelphia’s. It helps when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh can score at the rim far above the average accuracy all while having shooters playing alongside them.

For Philadelphia, it doesn’t help when they’re a strong candidate to “Bobcat” and very few of their players can stretch the floor consistently, and Michael Carter-Williams isn’t one of them. Like mentioned earlier, the 76ers have a good idea on where to score on offense while playing at a frantic pace, but they don’t score anywhere near enough and their defense has fallen off a cliff.

Below is their contrast in their own EFG% and their opponents’:

philly on Make A Gif

Possibly noticeable in the GIF of offensive EFG% is Chicago, who also struggles mightily on offense but their defense holds its own.

Miami’s another interesting case. They can light teams up from the corners but that’s also a place opponents have shot well from.

Below is a GIF of the 30 teams and their defensive EFG% at certain spots on the floor:

Def EFG on Make A Gif

I also made GIFs of teams sorted by their offensive and defensive ratings, but overall there wasn’t a clear difference in those highly efficient in one area of the floor and those who struggle. Portland, for example, scores a bunch from mid-range with the help of LaMarcus Aldridge, but they’re also a top-5 team in offensive efficiency. On defense, the percentage they allow at the rim is quite good but they allow a ton of attempts from that area of the floor. Defense is weird.

In the future, I might fool around a little further with these kind of graphs for both teams and players. The ones listed here are pretty basic and obviously won’t paint a clear picture on offense and especially defense, but hopefully they were fun to look at and compare team by team. As (sort of) mentioned earlier, a page with every team’s graphs wouldn’t take long at all, though I chose not to include them here because of the amount of space it would take up when combined with GIFs.

Any thoughts, even if the graphs weren’t all that cool to look at, or requests on these are certainly welcome. Feel free to chime in.

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Tables with shot location splits (from the Knicks post)

Below are some shot location splits I made to compare New York’s recent, excessive jump shooting with the rest of the league.

The first table looks at how many shots a team takes outside of the paint, according to NBA.com’s shooting stats. Here’s a link to it for maybe an easier view. This one should make it downloadable on Excel, where sorting columns are hopefully a possibility.

Anyway, here’s the posted table(s) from Google Sheets:

There isn’t anything too telling with how shots in the paint or out of it impacts offensive rating. The top 10 most efficient teams are scattered across the board. It’s worth noting, though, that only seven teams have taken more than half their shots in the paint.

Splits in wins and losses, found in the second sheet, also vary. In wins, the Nets, Pistons, Clippers, and Lakers all take a few less shots in the paint. The Bobcats, Cavaliers, Heat, and Magic have the opposite result. For Charlotte and Miami, maybe that’s from the impact of Al Jefferson and LeBron James, respectively.

Overall, though, I’m not sure it’s worth looking too into the stats because of, well, the difference in points from a mid-range jumper and a three-point shot not being specified (but will be in the second batch of tables). That doesn’t mean it’s not cool to post the splits, though, well hopefully.

But the next table’s a little more specific with where a team distributes their shots, sorting ones that often generate the most points (around the rim and from the arc) from the lowest (in the paint but not in the restricted area, and from mid-range). Here’s a link to the table for possibly easier viewing. This link should hopefully load in Excel.

This table has a more clear relation to both offensive rating and effective field goal percentage, though outliers like Philadelphia (poor Thaddeus Young, by the way) still remain. Detroit’s also one of the top teams to shoot around the rim or from three, though their efficiency takes a hit from Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith, among other players.

On the other side of the outliers is Oklahoma City, who’s in the middle of the pack with how many attempts they take around the rim and from three, though they’re sixth in offensive rating and EFG%. It helps to have nice mid-range shooters in Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka. Same goes for Dallas with Dirk Nowitzki and Portland with LaMarcus Aldridge.

No team takes less than half of their shots from the high-efficiency areas of the floor, though Memphis is tip-toeing that ground with a near 50-50 split. Related: they’re 20th in offensive rating and 21st in EFG%.

Win-loss splits still vary. Golden State, for example, attempts two to three more shots from either mid-range or the non-restricted area part of the paint (that part of the floor seriously needs a better, shorter name) in wins. Swinging the other way are the Mavericks, Clippers, Pelicans, and Jazz all taking a few less shots from those low-efficiency spots on the floor with the Clippers having the biggest decrease, taking over five less shots in wins. Unsurprisingly, their EFG% improves by 9.1 percent though every team’s percentage has increased in wins. There’s hardly a difference in shot distribution for some teams like the Lakers, Magic, and Blazers, all changing by less than a quarter of a percent.

Just for fun, I included an extra table featuring which teams take more mid-range shots than ones around the rim, something I included in the Knicks-related post this morning. Unsurprisingly, Portland’s both at the top of that table and the only team to be in the top 10 in scoring efficiency. The rest of the teams, save for the Knicks, are either at the bottom 10 or flirting with it.

I also wanted to include game-by-game logs but they’re so big that I didn’t want to make this post extremely slow to load. They can be found here on Google Sheets or a link to Excel.

Any other thoughts are certainly welcome, and as a reminder this was related to the Knicks column I posted earlier today about their overreliance on the jump shot, even by their standards.

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