Hawks can’t get stuck in their ways
Again, this is not a criticism or even a critique. Instead, it’s just a goal that every team and coaching staff – and fans watching – should have. Being adaptable (and healthy) has become paramount to winning in the NBA.
Zach Kram of The Ringer wrote an article noting the flaws in NBA lineup data on April 13. Kram’s article first points out the issues with small sample sizes and how finding a middle ground can be a difficult task,” says Andrew Patton, a data scientist working on the DARKO projection system, per Kram:
"One hundred possessions is not enough. Just throw that away. Fifteen hundred is definitely enough. But in that middle ground is [where] it starts to get tricky."
That is why each lineup’s sample size is also provided for further context.
Patton also points out the “make or miss” nature of the NBA and that coaches – like analysts selecting data – tend to favor successful groups, skewing data, and that five-man units still rarely play together all that much. His “Should I Use This Rating” tool provided insight into the lineups above and whether or not they should even be considered.
Only Okongwu playing power forward fell below the bare minimum and is noted for that very reason rather than any indication of what it could mean.