The Player Efficiency Rating (PER) is a per-minute rating for each player in the NBA developed by ESPN.com columnist John Hollinger. In Hollinger's words, "The PER sums up all a player's positive accomplishments, subtracts the negative accomplishments, and returns a per-minute rating of a player's performance." It appears from his books that John's database only goes back to the 1988-89 season. I decided to expand on John's work and calculate PER for all players since minutes played were first recorded (1951-52).
The PER is still being used today and for many is one of the most important statistics as it shows the true value of each player, each minute he is on the court competing. Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James top the list for the all-time PER leaders, but FadeAway World brings you the five best PER players who have started off this season phenomenally.
5 – Hassan Whiteside: 30.39 PER (Played two games)
Even though he is injured, Whiteside is still fifth in the PER rating list with 30.39. In the two games, he played so far, this year, the 28-year old center averaged 19.5 points and 18.0 rebounds per game. Undoubtedly these types of numbers are extreme, special numbers that he could not possibly keep up with until the end of the year.
It will be interesting to watch how he will come back to the court and what numbers he will be putting up.
4 – Clint Capela: 30.42 PER
One name you did not expect to read about on this list, is making a name for himself among all the great centers in the Western Conference. In just 24.6 minutes a game, Caplea is averaging 13.3 points, 11.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks, showcasing his talent and skills. At just 23-years of age, the Swiss has a long way to go and continues improving every year.
The 30.42 points in the PER system is a great number as he is fourth on that list so far this season! Capela has also improved his free-throws as he is gone from a 53.1% from last season to a 77.8% (!) this season in the first nine games. Shooting at a 70% from the field, playing well on both ends of the court he becomes the perfect player for 25-30 minutes that James Harden can use on offense to get easy points.
3 – Stephen Curry: 30.55 PER
The two time MVP, Stephen Curry is also having a great season with the Golden State Warriors, even though the defending champs struggled in the opening week of the NBA. Scoring 27.2 points per game, while shooting an exceptional 49.7% from the field and making almost four three-pointers a game are just some reasons as to why his PER is that high.
Steph is making every minute count while he is on the court, as he is scoring the ball a lot while averaging only 33.0 minutes per game but also handing out 6.0 assists and stealing the ball 1.8 times per game make him a special player. His influence in the game when he is on the court and his team game mentality also show up in the PER rating, as his off-ball screen, movement help him with easy points.
2 – Anthony Davis: 31.35 PER
Speaking of MVP candidates, Anthony Davis is also having an exceptional season for the New Orleans Pelicans and the 31.35 PER just adds to his extreme talent and skills. The 24-year old is averaging 27.1 points, 12.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game and next to DeMarcus Cousins, together they are a force down low. The goal for his team is to make the playoffs and if he continues playing like that AD can lead his team there.
One of the best players in the league is having his best season so far in his career and the stats are proving it once again.
1 – Giannis Antetokounmpo: 33.83 PER
The 33.83 points in the Player Efficiency Rating system are an all-time (!) record. If the season ended today, the ‘Greek Freak’ would top Wilt Chamberlain and have the number one spot on the list. Eventually, however, this number will most likely not last for a whole season, but the 22-year old so far is having an unbelievable season averaging 31.3 points, 10.6 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.1 blocks while shooting an effective 60% from the field.
The way Giannis makes his team better in many ways, as he can become the playmaker, make plays for his teammates but also finish inside the paint with a lay-up a dunk or a fadeaway jumper to go along with how well he defends give him 33.83 points in the PER system.