I may not know much, but I do know that Steph Curry is good at shooting a basketball. How can I possibly quantify that? Well, I can't. I guess one could look at percentage of shots made to shots missed, but does that really matter? As long as someone is scoring points then do raw percentages count? One could look at many things.
Instead of simply asking if a player is great, we can try to understand how they play. I think an interesting part of that understanding is trying to find when they act, and what action they take. This can be relative to quite a few things, but two obvious ones are within a period and within the game in general. One relatively easy stat to calculate stat is how far away from the hoop is a shot attempted, relative to when the shot was attempted.
Hear me out, people behave different when it comes down to the wire. Early in a period there is much more wiggle room. Early in a game there is much more wiggle room. What does a player do in the moments when there isn't wiggle room? Lets take a quick peek at the graph below. This is in the context of a period, and we've stacked all of the periods from the 2020-21 season on top of each other to create this view. It is a more general view, but we can get to a more in-depth look later. Here is what we are seeing: