For a league that has so many Herculean feats of athleticism, there's something especially aesthetically pleasing about good teamwork in the NBA. One of my favorite teams to watch growing up were the Steve Nash and Mike D'Antoni led "7 Seconds or Less" Phoenix Suns teams from the mid 2000s. Their emphasis on ball movement and spacing was a precursor for later teams that played what I consider the most beautiful basketball ever played, such as the 2014 Spurs and the late 2010s Warriors dynasty. In a 2018 interview with USA Today, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr described what passing meant to a team with as much talent as the Warriors:
With the depth of shooting talent in the NBA today, understanding good ball movement is more important today than it's ever been before.
We were particularly interested in building something to help us answer the following questions:
We decided on using a chord diagram to represent passing data, and hope you have as much fun exploring it as we did putting it together!
We're just getting started.
Subscribe for more thoughtful, data-driven journalism.