Steve Kerr is not about to get carried away with the small sample size of the Warriors’ last 11 games. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Steve Kerr is not about to get carried away with the small sample size of the Warriors’ last 11 games. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Steve Kerr preaches importance of avoiding small sample sizes

OAKLAND — Strong defense has defined the Golden State Warriors since Kevin Durant’s injury, at least when they’ve won games.

And according to some metrics, their defense has been even better than it was before when the Dubs were at full strength.

But head coach Steve Kerr knows better than to hang his hat on the results of 11 games.

“I know that’s a small sample size,” Kerr said after Thursday’s practice, “and I know the last five have been dramatically better than the first seven.”

Even this late in the season, the desire to get carried away with incomplete data is pervasive. Take the reaction to Shaun Livingston’s shooting this season as an example.

Entering March, Livingston was shooting a hyper effectively 56.6 percent, a noteworthy figure for a guard. He’s shot 25 percent since as he’s regressed to the norm.

Livingston said there’s been no clear-cut explanation for the dropoff, although he did appreciate seeing some fall against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, when he went 3-for-4 from the field.

Kerr was again the voice of reason, pointing out Livingston “takes five shots a game, if that,” leading to more variance in his shooting numbers, which currently stand at 52.4 percent.

Durant remains on track

The Warriors haven’t altered Durant’s outlook since he was injured on the last day of February.

The team said then that it would re-evaluate after four weeks. With that timeframe expiring next Wednesday, Kerr remains in a wait-and-see mode.

“Seems he takes a new stride every day,” Kerr said.

Durant is expected to join the Warriors during their Texas road trip in which they play in Houston and San Antonio on back-to-back nights, and then be evaluated upon returning to the Bay Area on Thursday.NBA

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A cyclist heads past an artistic sign onto Page Street, a Slow Street, at Stanyan Street near Golden Gate Park on Monday, April 12, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Push to make street closures permanent meets with resistance

Hastily thrown together during the pandemic, Slow Streets program now struggles to build support

Agnes Liang, who will be a senior at Mission High School, is running for one of the two student representative seats on the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Turbulent year on school board leaves student delegates undeterred

Around this time last year, Shavonne Hines-Foster and Kathya Correa Almanza were… Continue reading

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Three people killed in SF shootings in less than 24 hours

San Francisco police were scrambling Saturday to respond to a series of… Continue reading

Muni operator Angel Carvajal drives the popular boat tram following a news conference celebrating the return of the historic F-line and subway service on Friday, May 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Mayor, transit officials celebrate return of Muni service

Mayor London Breed and city transit officials gathered Friday to welcome the… Continue reading

San Francisco police investigated the scene of a police shooting near Varney Place and Third Street on May 7. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD shooting may prompt new body camera rules for plainclothes cops

Police chief says incident ‘should not have happened’

Most Read