Tracking the Thunder and Heat; Fleecing Cities for New Stadiums

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Today in Sports: Finding pretty patterns in NBA shooting, basketball ratings go up, and a legendary coach is accused of shady dealings.

Kirk Goldsberry, a geography professor at Michigan State University, breaks down the shot patterns for the starting lineups in tonight's NBA Finals and The New York Times compiled them into a nifty interactive graphic. The charts show where each player (as well the entire teams) likes to take, make, and miss all of their shots and reveals where they are the most effective. [The New York Times]

In other NBA news, television ratings were way up this season. Some feared a dip after the lockout eliminated several weeks of the season, but the shortened and compressed 66-game schedule seems to have suited fans just fine. The fact that they weren't playing games during the baseball playoffs and during the heart of NFL and college football seasons may also have helped them avoid low interest games that they usually find during the opening weeks of the season.  []

Think Progress rounds up five U.S. cities currently being strongarmed by professional sports teams that want them to build a new arena or stadium. Even in the best of times, publicly financed stadiums are generally a terrible deal for local city and state governments, but they are even worse in times of austerity and massive cuts to social services. Especially when the $9 billion NFL wants to replace a Georgia Dome that's only 20 years old. [Think Progress]

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Thanks to a couple of late scratches, second alternate — and 14-year-old golfer — Andy Zhang will be the youngest player to ever join the field of the U.S. Open. Zhang's family is from China and moved here when he was 10 to live and train at the golf academy in Florida. He'll play a practice round with Masters champ Bubba Watson tomorrow. [Fox Sports]

Chad Ochocinco wasn't unemployed for every long. Just four days after being cut by the New England Patriots, the wide receiver signed a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins, who were in need of wideout help after trading star Brandon Marshall during the off-season. [AP]

University of Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma is being sued for discrimination by an NBA security employee who says he retaliated against her after she resisted his advances. Kelley Hardwick, who helped supply security for the international women's team, says Auriemma forcibly tried to kiss her while on a trip to Russia in 2009. After she rebuffed him, she says that she was denied future assignments to work with the team, including at the 2012 Olympics where Auriemma will be the women's coach. Auriemma says the claim is "beyond false." []

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.