Original post on NBA.com with all Finals MVPs since 1969
Published here on Sports Illustrated.
After only three games in the MLB, Masahiro Tanaka has already taken the world by storm. Here’s a look at every batter that he’s pitched to so far. Of those 82, he’s only let up sixteen hits and a single walk. Pretty good start.
Here’s a look at how starters on all 30 NBA teams share the basketball. The thickness of the gray lines on the accompanying chart represents the average number of passes per game between two players.
A very clear picture emerges on which teams distribute the ball more evenly between players, such as the Nets, Bulls and Cavaliers. On the flip side, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin dominate passing for the Clippers, and likewise for Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio of the Timberwolves.
This data would have been virtually impossible to collect in the past. However, all NBA arenas are now equipped with SportVU technology. Several cameras are installed overhead which are used to track every move of the game.
Some notes on methodology: The top level center, point guard, shooting guard, small forward and power forward were selected from all team depth charts. The average number of passes were calculated from data from this season only (through Tuesday), taking into account only those games where all five players were active and saw playing time. In-bounds passes were excluded. Line thickness represents combined passing in both directions between two players.
Created for NBA.com. Original post here
There has been a lot of buzz about LeBron James’ 61-point game Monday night, but Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant racked up his 10th 40-point game of the season on Tuesday. Here’s a look at players who consistently have been scoring big this year.
Here’s a piece for Sports Illustrated on how 40-yard dash times affect draft odds in the NFL Combine. Extra Mustard
There are a lot of characters to keep track of in Breaking Bad, so I thought it would be fun to plot them out and explore the connections between them.
We picked up an upright 1905 Steinway model “K” for fifty dollars at an estate sale a few weeks ago. Steinway has been the world’s premiere piano-maker for over a century, so even though ours is in rough shape, it’s pretty cool just to have one sitting in the living room.
Here’s a look at the costs of the classic Steinway model “D” grand piano since 1900. Values reflect the lowest retail price for each year and no, they are not adjusted for inflation! (It’s about what pianos actually cost at the time)
Using varied sizes of a two-dimensional shape is often an effective way to visually compare quantities. One might think that scaling an object 200% in Illustrator would cause its area to become twice as large. This is not the case. It will actually result in an area four times as large, due to the fact that both the linear height and linear width are scaled by 200%.
Here is a simple formula to calculate the necessary scale percentage, based on the relationship of two values.
Example: We need one square to represent 100 people and another to represent 200 people.
Now just take a copy of the first square and scale it 141.4% in Illustrator.
Population density measures the amount of people in a given area, generally per square kilometer or mile. It’s difficult to get a clear image of what these vast spaces actually represent, so I thought that it would be interesting to flip the equation on its head and figure out how much space there is on average per person. This “Personal Space” is very easy to calculate. In the imperial system, ft2 per person = 27,878,000/(people per mile2). In the metric system, m2 per person = 1,000,000/(people per km2).
One very simple bit of data stood out in the research for the last set of visualizations: The Celtics and the Lakers have won more NBA Championships than all other franchises combined. Pretty amazing.
It clearly takes a village. Jordan was already a force to be reckoned with in the late eighties, but it wasn’t until Pippen, Grant and Kukoc stepped onto the court that the championships started rolling in. This phenomenon was obviously not missed on LeBron in “The Decision” to join forces with Wade and Bosh.
With seventeen total Championships, the Celts are the most decorated franchise of all time. However, none of the big stars ever averaged over thirty points a season (Bird got pretty close at 29.9 in the 1987-88 season), again exemplifying the power of a rounded team effort.
It’s also interesting to see how the unparalleled run of wins in the sixties tapers out into the double decade drought that began in the mid-eighties.
Many of the biggest names in the history of the sport were dressed in gold. With sixteen wins, the Lakers fall just one shy of Boston, and once again the championships coincide more closely with the clusters than the peaks.
Some of the team’s best played in the 60′s, but due to Celtic domination, Baylor, West and Chamberlain didn’t take the finals until quite late in their careers.
We were cleaning out some drawers in the office yesterday and came across a clunky old SyQuest disk. Memories of a particular workflow suddenly came back to me:
- Flip through a book of stock images. Choose one.
- Walk to the stock agency and pick up the chrome.
- Drop the chrome off at a service bureau for a drum scan.
- Return to the office and wait.
- Receive package from courier several hours later.
- Take out chrome and SyQuest disk with “hi-res” image.
- Try repetitively to mount the disk until it finally works.
This last step was particularly fun, as it often required several OS reboots.
All of this is of course now accomplished with a scroll and a click (and in turn a few extra inches around the waistline), but SyQuest certainly deserves a tip of the hat for making large graphic files portable and quietly revolutionizing the design field.
This graphic focuses on some of the more popular magnetic removable storage formats from the 70′s through the mid 90′s, before optical and ultimately solid state technologies came on with a vengeance.
A quick note: Each of these formats were revamped several times to increase storage capacity over the years. I’ve just included the sizes that were most popular for long periods of time as a frame of reference.
Every time a classic highlight flashes on the screen, we’re hit with a strong dose of nostalgia, followed by a healthy aftertaste of humor. The game was less aggressive, the video definition was low, and the shorts were tight. Really tight.
I started digging through scores of vintage images, looking at patterns of on-court apparel over the last several decades in hopes to map them out in a simple graphic. Some clear trends began to appear almost immediately.
The most obvious of which is the progressive attempt to cover up more and more skin. Those form-fitting speedo-esque shorts of the 60′s have morphed into something more akin to Italian capris. Inseam length seems to have maxed out around the All-Star game of 2006, but has since climbed back up above the knee.
The arm-length “shooter sleeves” that Lebron, Carmelo and Pierce sport on a regular basis are one of the most interesting of recent accoutrements. These covers can directly be traced back to former 76ers point guard Allen Iverson, who by legend wore one to conceal a controversial tattoo, but in actuality had bursitis in his right elbow. Somehow the sleeves caught on and are now believed to improve your shot. I guess I should get one.
Today’s norm will most certainly be tomorrow’s chuckle. When shorts drag on the ground like wedding gowns in 2030, I’m sure we’ll all look back at the hysterically classic replays of Dwyane Wade exposing his calves in the finals.
Added: I have screenprints available of this graphic printed on 12″x18″ archival 80lb stock. Let me know if you’re interested. Thanks!
I popped opened a new bottle of Flintstones vitamins and was curious about the distribution of characters. Note that this data set is based on the one single bottle (unit NAA045F) so no conclusions can be made beyond it.
The biggest surprise of the batch was the abundance of Great Gazoos. Although he was ubercool, the tiny airborne alien voiced by Harvey Korman only appeared in 13 of 167 episodes. Gazoo was a special treat on screen, so I would have expected him to follow suit in vitamin form. However, he ranked at the highest count of 10, matched only by Dino and Pebbles – also non-headliners of the show.
There were 61 vitamins in total, and the label only claims to sport 60, so major bonus for us! My apologies to the less fortunate family out there who only got 59.
I wonder if I’ll ever have time to post to this blog again.