Michigan State geography professor Kirk Goldsberry, at last week’s Sloan Conference, unveiled a map (below) of every shot taken in the NBA between 2006 and 2011. To create the map, Goldsberry divided half of an NBA court into 1,284 “cells” then plotted every shot taken during the 2006-11 time span.
Each square on the map represents one of Goldsberry’s cells. The size of the square indicates how many shots were taken from that spot. The color indicates how many points-per-attempt were scored from that cell. (For example, if players went 8-for-20 from a spot at the top of the arc, they would have scored 24 points on 20 shots, or 1.33 points-per-attempt.)
The map shows that the most efficient shots are layups and corner threes.