This is a review of the Weighted Voronoi diagram research conducted by Dan Cervone, Luke Bornn and Kirk Goldsberry.
The regions on a basketball court can be looked at as if they are realty. How valuable is the realty that a player has control over? Which region does the player need to take control of next in order to help facilitate a chance of scoring? Do players always make the best decision when choosing which space to occupy?
A Weighted Voronoi diagram is built to determine which regions of the court are the most valuable and to quantify decisions made by the players regarding the space they occupy or want to occupy. The first step is to divide the court up into spaces that measure approximately 2′ x 2′. The next step is to determine the value of each space. This is done by looking at which spaces seem to be preferred by the players. Spaces that contain many players are obviously considered more valuable than spaces occupied by a lone player. One way to evaluate the spaces is to analyze the passes between players. When a player passes the ball to a teammate he obviously feels that the space his teammate occupies is more valuable than the one he occupies himself. By looking at the passes each team makes it is possible to determine which spaces are valued the most by teams and any variation that exists, as not every team places the same value on each space.
The Weighted Voronoi diagram can be altered to look at the individual players and which spaces they consider to have the highest value.
Once each space on the court has been given a value, possession can be analyzed to determine if the players are maximizing that value. This allows possessions to be compared by their “value”. Are players maximizing the value? If not, this is something that can be practiced in order to improve the players’ decision making in future games.
The value of space occupied by the offense and defense can be compared. This would help evaluate which team is making the better choices. Coaches could analyze this data in order to improve the decisions their players make regarding which space they want to occupy. Coaches would be able to see which spaces are preferred by individual players and help determine if players are maximizing their space. Coaches could also look at which spaces their opponents favor. This would aide in determining the best defense strategy to limit the opponents’ points.
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