Dec 10 2014

NBA Shot Visualization: Five Takeaways From Buckets

Peter Beshai created a new visualization tool, Buckets, which displays shooting data from the past four seasons. The site is done really well and provides easy access to a variety of charts and other information to analyze shooting performance.

Here are five takeaways concerning the Sixers:

1. Tony Wroten



Buckets supports much of what was written in Xylon Dimoff’s Wroten analysis. Fifty-six percent of his shots come from 0-2 feet away from the basket, more than the league average (29 percent) and guard average (24 percent). Though he can’t shoot 3s, he’s still firing away, with 28.2 percent of his shots coming from beyond the arc. That’s around the league average. Only 5 percent of his shots come from 5-23 feet.

2. Nerlens Noel


Shocker: the right-handed Noel prefers shooting from the right side of the court, particularly the right block. He has 45 shots on the right side of the 0-2 feet range, compared to only 12 on the left. That makes sense, since the rookie is shooting 59 percent from the right, compared to only 33 percent from the left.

3. Michael Carter-Williams


Much like last season, Carter-Williams ranks below average in FG% by distance across the board. His overall FG% this season is only 38 percent compared to 40.5 percent last season.

There’s no area that he stands out or succeeds in. Although he ranks around league average closer to the basket, he doesn’t particularly excel in any part of the court and remains a subpar, high-volume shooter. You probably didn’t need sexy charts to help you figure that out.

4. Robert Covington


Although Covington has played only 11 games for the Sixers, he has left quite an impression. That’s primarily because of his 3-point shooting. He has converted 53.1 percent of his 32 shots from beyond the arc. While he’s due for a regression, he has significantly outshot the league thus far.

Distance FG% League FG% Forwards FG%
24 ft.


36 36
25 ft. 47 35 35
26 ft. 53 34 34
27 ft. 52 33 33

5. K.J. McDaniels


Going into the season, the hope was that McDaniels could flash 3-and-D potential. Although much focus has been placed on the ‘D’ part of his game, his shot frequency % by distance further supports the idea that McDaniels could be an efficient shooter too.

He’s hitting 3-pointers at a league-average rate of 33.3 percent clip. But he’s taking more of them, as 3-pointers make up 40.8 percent of his field goal attempts. He currently averages more long-range attempts than the average guard.

There’s plenty more interesting Sixers/NBA stuff over at Buckets. If charts, graphs, and numbers are your thing, go check it out.