Basketball Game Visualizations – Event Timelines

Basketball game visualization

After every game, us coaches will have a period of self-reflection where we think about what went right, and what went wrong. Having a good visualization of key events tells a compelling story, and can help you make better-informed decisions for future games. The Game Summary tool in Hoopsalytics offers you some compelling ways to visualize the game, and individual player’s impact.

Here’s a true story: Last season, in our first game against a rival school, my team was leading 25-6, and wound up losing 52-48. This one game has given me more second-guessing about what I could have done better as a coach to secure the win for my team. The timeline at the top of this article shows all the key events for the game, and you can see how our turnovers increased, and our rebounds decreased, in the later stages of the game.

Here’s more detail, showing my team and a couple of our players:

Ashley was our team captain and all-league forward, and you can see her fifth foul in the fourth quarter, upon which she was no longer able to play. After that point the timeline shows we made a lot of turnovers, and got up very few shots. We were also badly out-rebounded.

Our opponent featured the league MVP Ivy. We went to a box-and-one to start the game, and it was effective on her in the first half, as you can see from her timeline:

Depending upon the game and your style of play, different timelines will tell different stories.

How to Read the Timelines

From the Game Summary tool, you can scroll down and view various event timelines. Shooting appears by default, but you have all these other options:

You can also just show the team-only timelines for easy comparison:

Grey areas show when a player was on the floor, and white areas are when they are on the bench. This makes it easy to see your substitution pattern, like so:

You can hover over any shape to see what it means, but most should be obvious. Here’s how to read the Shooting timeline:


All the coaches we’ve shown this to were very excited to have this tool. If you like this option, or have ideas to make it even better, please let us know!




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