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Phoenix Suns shooters

Yair sends in this plot of the week:


He writes:

This displays the smoothed distribution of shots taken by wing players for the Phoenix Suns in the ’07-’08 regular season (Matt Barnes played for the GS Warriors that year). Raja Bell seems like the perfect wing player for the Suns, because he plays defense and then basically sits at the 3-pt line waiting for Steve Nash to give him the ball for a good shot. Leandro Barbosa is similar, but he drives a bit more (especially when Nash is off the floor). Grant Hill didn’t fit this mold because he has no 3-pt shot; he is more of a mid-range guy. From this standpoint, Matt Barnes (their free-agent pickup) looks like he could be a better fit. Of course, this plot says nothing about whether he actually hits the threes, but at least his heart is in the right place. Then again, if their offensive system changes because of the new coach, all bets are off.

Pretty graphs, huh? The color scheme seems good for a team called the Suns.


  1. Jesse says:

    Pretty damn cool.

    I'd like to see two graphs: one for attempted shots and one for successful shots.

  2. Those are some pretty cool graphics.

    If this is something others are interested in (like me and Yair), you can get play-by-play data in CSV format for the 2007-2008 season from my website (includes shot (x,y) location):

    There are a whole range of things to study in basketball. So there is some data if you've got the time. :)

  3. Tony says:

    heat map for the Suns- why didn't i think of that?? very cool stuff

  4. Manoel Neto says:


    I am a brazilian, so: Who is Yair? And, moreover, where I can find his site (if he has any one)?
    Nice graphs