Hoop Graphix: The Efficiency of Made Shots


Teams are getting smarter. That’s a fact. We are all aware that organizations track and value the efficiency of shots taken on the floor.  The data gets further advanced over time to the point that we have a hard time deciphering what’s useful and what isn’t.  The metrics have now taken an almost human-like form with the ground-breaking evolution of measuring P.O.I.N.T.S.  The fact of the matter is we have more information about shot selection than we know what to do with.

But what if everyone is looking at the wrong data?

Now that we’ve looked at where the most effective shots are taken on the court, I’ve asked myself ‘is anyone tracking the efficiency of made shots through the basket?’  This question led me to explore the area within the cylinder to pick up on the efficiency of these made shots.

Below we have the solar hoop chart graphic for the most efficient shots made by every NBA team through the 2013-2014 regular season. The yellow area shows most potent space for made shots.

court 2

As you can see the circular space within the hoop contains the location of the majority (if not all) of made shots within the league. The data tends to gravitate towards the efficiency existing in the area within the hoop. Mind blowing.

After looking at every NBA player in the league, the evidence suggests that a given player’s most efficient made shots are calculated in the circular area.  However, sometimes a player completely ignores the data.

Below you see two polar opposite examples of efficient made shots.

The Bad: Monta Ellis

court monta


The Good: Boris Diaw

court boris

Observe the insane differences between the efficiency of Boris Diaw’s made shots within the basket versus Monta Ellis’.  You can see why one of these guys is a champion and the other isn’t.

Now look at the league average for players making shots.

The Norm: League Averages


The evidence within the data is so clear that I feel it would be insulting to your intelligence to even attempt to explain why these graphics matter so much.

Finally a closer look within the hoop, will show you that not all made shots are created equal. If teams start to understand this fact then maybe they might start aiming their shots a little more towards the efficient areas of the hoop.

Below we see the Miami Heat’s solar hoop chart graphic – only zoomed in by 150% to give us an up-close view of how efficient Miami’s made shots are – and where they have room to improve.


As you can see, the proof is in the data. If you need further explanation then read it again. If you can’t see it below then I can’t help you.


Thank you for your time.



*Inspired by the great @kirkgoldsberry.  I admire his work a ton and believe it to be game-changing . Read his latest here.

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