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Dispatches From The Keyboard: Vol. 1

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How far/fast does Ben Simmons move in a given game?

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Dispatches From The Keyboard will be a biweekly short form focusing on a single chart/graph/table. I’ll provide a little bit of context and a little bit of interpretation, but in general, each edition will be a quick look at something I find interesting. The visuals in most cases will be a little more complex than a regular article.

Idea

While watching the nightmare of the Hawks game (again), I was thinking about how much Ben Simmons runs in the course of a game, especially considering how big he is. I wanted to look at his tracking data, as well as that of similarly-sized players.

Result

So What?

  1. Ben has traveled 192 miles so far this season, ranking 9th (Tobias Harris is 3rd). Of note, Ben is the tallest player in the top-10 in distance traveled, and the 2nd-heaviest (Tobias is 1st).
  2. With regards to the residual plot, it appears that shooters such as Doug McDermott, Joe Harris, and Buddy Hield probably need to run around more than others to get open looks (see: JJ Redick), while T.J. McConnell and Rodney McGruder are more general try-hards.
  3. The middle plot shows how you can be effective moving across a wide range of speeds.
  4. The last chart is a look at how hard players work for their points. The top-5 and bottom-5 for points per mile traveled are labeled. As someone who enjoys shooting and despises running, this makes me like Joel Embiid even more.

Data via NBA.com/stats