A study, entitled "Tactile Communication, Cooperation and Performance: An Ethological Study of the NBA," authored by Michael W. Kraus, Cassy Huang and Dacher Keltner found that good teams touch more often than bad teams. The researchers reviewed broadcasts from the 2008-2009 basketball season and logged touching, like high-fives. The Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers topped the charts in terms of "touchiness."
Taking a cue from the study, the Wall Street Journal did their own study of the Heat Mavericks match-up. The results are below.
No surprise that a team that touches more often has also been together for longer.