If you came here from our video about "What Makes Basketball Players the Best Athletes on the Planet," you're probably wondering why in the world we picked Kawhi Leonard and Frank Jackson to study. (And if you're a regular visitor who hasn't seen the video, you're probably confused now, too, so check out the video here).
Anyways, we have a reasoning. Let's get to Kawhi first.
First, Leonard is the definition of an all-around player--a "swiss army knife." He scores, rebounds, facilitates, plays on- and off-ball, and obviously, defends. So, choosing a player who does everything on the floor allowed us to get a taste of each aspect's movement patterns. For example, a player like J.J. Redick who primarily plays off-ball will have significantly different movement patterns over the course of a game than a player like James Harden, who plays on-ball for the majority of the game. Kawhi is a perfect blend of both. Plus, he plays in a very movement-based system, so that we could gather as many examples as possible in four quarters.
Also, Kawhi, is a very solid player, biomechanically. He is not especially prone to injuries due to poor mechanics, but he also has room for improvement. We figured picking someone on either end of the spectrum may skew our results.
Frank Jackson, on the other hand, is probably the more baffling pick for many. And, again, we have justification. First, he played in a Duke system that demands high-effort at all times. This is more applicable to high-school and other younger players who play in a more effort-based and traditional style system, rather than an iso-based one like in the NBA. Not to mention, in this game he was facing off against two dynamic guards, Joel Berry and Nate Britt, which maximized his intensity and allowed us to get the best feel for his true movement patterns.
Also, although a fantastic athlete at the college level, he is not on Kawhi's level in terms of all-around athletic properties. So, it was good to get a sense of a non-NBA athlete in addition to Leonard.
Finally, you may have noticed that Jackson consistently plays at a very low joint angle, as seen below:
Considering this, it was helpful to see that much of the data between Jackson and Kawhi was matched up relatively well in terms of joint angles, demonstrating that the joint angle figures are relatively consistent (we have further studies in the works on this!).
Anyways, there you have it. It may have seemed random at first, but hopefully it's a little more clear now. Remember to follow us on social media, subscribe to our YouTube, and keep checking our blog and website for new content!