What is PER?
The player efficiency rating (PER) is a rating of a player's per-minute productivity.
To generate PER, I created formulas -- outlined in tortuous detail in my book "Pro Basketball Forecast" -- that return a value for each of a player's accomplishments. That includes positive accomplishments such as field goals, free throws, 3-pointers, assists, rebounds, blocks and steals, and negative ones such as missed shots, turnovers and personal fouls.
Two important things to remember about PER are that it's per-minute and is pace-adjusted.
Because it's a per-minute measure, it allows us to compare, say, Steve Blake and Derek Fisher, even though there is a disparity in their minutes played.
I also adjust each player's rating for his team's pace, so that players on a slow-paced team like Detroit aren't penalized just because their team has fewer possessions than a fast-paced team such as Golden State.
Bear in mind that PER is not the final, once-and-for-all evaluation of a player's accomplishments during the season. This is especially true for defensive specialists -- such as Quinton Ross and Jason Collins -- who don't get many blocks or steals.
What PER can do, however, is summarize a player's statistical accomplishments in a single number. That allows us to unify the disparate data on each player we try to track in our heads (e.g., Corey Maggette: free-throw machine, good rebounder, decent shooter, poor passer, etc.) so that we can move on to evaluating what might be missing from the stats.
I set the league average in PER to 15.00 every season.
Among players with at least 500 minutes in 2010-11, the highest rating was LeBron James' 27.34. The lowest was Stephen Graham's 4.41.
PER: TOP 10 AND BOTTOM 10 FOR 2010-11
|Top 10||PER||Bottom 10||PER|
|LeBron James, Cavs||27.34||Stephen Graham, Nets||4.41|
|Dwight Howard, Magic||26.13||Jason Collins, Hawks||5.37|
|Dwyane Wade, Heat||25.65||Ronnie Price, Jazz||5.54|
|Kevin Love, Timberwolves||24.39||Chris Duhon, Magic||5.65|
|Kobe Bryant, Lakers||23.94||Joel Przybilla, Blazers-Bobcats||6.22|
|Chris Paul, Hornets||23.76||Rasual Butler, Clippers-Bulls||6.24|
|Kevin Durant, Thunder||23.70||Xavier Henry, Grizzlies||7.02|
|Russell Westbrook, Thunder||23.63||Jonny Flynn, Timberwolves||7.13|
|Derrick Rose, Bulls||23.62||Joel Anthony, Heat||7.29|
|Dirk Nowitzki, Mavs||23.52||Steve Blake, Lakers||7.50|
For the most updated PER rankings league-wide, click here.
John Hollinger writes for ESPN Insider. To e-mail him, click here.