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.
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