Tyreke Evans and Small Sample Sizes (Revisited)

Published: December 15, 2014

About a month ago, I wrote a post titled Tyreke Evans and Small Sample Sizes. The point of that piece was to show what problems come with small sample sizes and exactly why we should be wary of them. I used Tyreke Evans’ poor shooting at the rim over the first 8 games of the season as a case study. At the end of that post, I wrote,

“His percentage could drop for any number of reasons, but we won’t know more until we approach that magical 20-30 game mark.”

Well, we are at 22 games played, and I thought it would be a good time to return to this question with a short piece examining how his percent at the rim has changed since then. (Note: the data set hasn’t been updated to include last nights Golden State game. Those numbers aren’t available yet.)

Just to remind you, after 8 games Tyreke was shooting 43.7% at the rim, according to basketball-reference.com. Here is a copy of the column graph that includes his shooting through 8 games and 22 games this season.

Tyreke Evans Small Sample 2

It is pretty clear that we saw an increase. His percent rose from 43.7% to 52.2%. Now, he still isn’t shooting as well at the rim as he has in previous years, but he is pretty close. Evans could easily increase his percentage to last year’s mark of 54.4%. The idea that Tyreke was going to have a historically bad season at the rim seems to be gone for now. To recap, as our sample size grew, Tyreke’s percentage at the rim increased to be closer to his career average. In other words, what we expected to happen when sample sizes grew larger did happen. Cool.




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