Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Day was Opening Day in the NBA this season, thanks to the owners' lockout. Among the marquee match-ups was a Chicago Bulls visit to play the L.A. Lakers. For most of the second half, Chicago's shooting showed the rust of a longer-than-usual off-season. However, the Bulls caught fire in the closing minutes to pull out a stunning 88-87 victory.

Below is a shot-sequence chart for Chicago, based on the play-by-play sheet. I haven't done one of these in a long time, but it seemed fitting for the Bulls' second half. (You may click on the graphic to enlarge it.)


For roughly the first 20 of the 24 second-half minutes, Chicago's missed shots (blue) greatly outnumbered its made baskets (red). As shown in the legend at the bottom of the chart, longer line segments indicate greater distances of shot attempts. For the stretch highlighted in pale yellow, the Bulls missed 21 of 22 field-goal attempts. However, the Bulls came back to score 18 points in just the final 4:13 of the game, which was enough to win.

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