espn.com uses enticing visuals to compare 2016 NBA Finals matchup

In a 2016 piece, ESPN gave readers a look into the 2016 NBA Finals matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors by using data visualization to compare the teams’ stats.

First and foremost, the article uses color to successfully differentiate the two teams’ statistics. The Cavaliers’ statistics are indicated by the color red, while the Warriors’ statistics are indicated by the color blue.

The article uses a variety of interactive charts to compare data on aspects of both teams’ play, such as points per play,

point differentials,

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percentiles by play,

playoff usage, playoff defense, play-by-play win probability, number of players acquired via trade, draft and free agency, as well as various other factors such as turnover percentage.

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When scrolling over these charts, they give readers the specific numerical value for each statistic, including the rank as well as its corresponding percentage.

The charts and colors chosen for this article allow readers to immediately see the differences in the teams’ play, putting all of the information they would need in one interactive space. The data helps to illustrate the point that the author was trying to make, which was that, through using what ESPN calls its Basketball Power Index, the Warriors had a higher percent chance of winning the NBA championship in 2016 based on their team statistics. After all, probability is all about the numbers.

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