Antetokounmpo has officially wrapped up the most efficient season in league history.
Antetokounmpo will not play in the Bucks’ final seeding game in the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World on Thursday — he was suspended for a single game after head-butting Washington forward Moritz Wagner on Tuesday — and will end the season with a Player Efficiency Rating of 31.91, the highest in league history, according to Basketball Reference.
That’s higher than Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
Giannis Antetokounmpo will finish this season with the highest PER (31.91) in NBA History pic.twitter.com/iBvpG7Px5Y— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) August 13, 2020
The Player Efficiency Rating, or PER, was developed by former ESPN columnist John Hollinger. The complicated formula “sums up all a player’s positive accomplishments, subtracts the negative accomplishments, and returns a per-minute rating of a player’s performance.” According to the Washington Post, the league average each season is about 15 — roughly half of what Antetokounmpo finished with this year.
Chamberlain currently holds the top two spots on the list, and is closely followed by Jordan and James to round out the top five. Steph Curry and Anthony Davis are the only other players to make an appearance in the top-15.
How does the COVID-19 hiatus impact his stats?
In reality, not that much.
Antetokounmpo appeared in 63 games for Milwaukee this season even after the nearly-five month break due to the coronavirus pandemic, only nine less than he played in the year before. He averaged 29.5 points and 13.6 rebounds per game, both significantly higher than last season, and played in just 30.4 minutes per game — the lowest amount he’s played since his rookie season and just the 72nd-most in the league, something that undoubtedly helped his PER.
He was on pace to hit the historic PER mark in January, too.
Among @Giannis_An34's many, eye-popping stats this season: He's on pace to have the highest player efficiency rating in NBA history. Just a monstrous statistical season for the MVP frontrunner.— Chris Mannix (@SIChrisMannix) January 17, 2020
If the stats weren’t enough, the Bucks are winning once again, too.
Milwaukee enters their final game of the regular season with a 56-16 record, the best in the league, and have already clinched the top spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs for the second-straight season.
Though he still hasn’t won an NBA title in his seven seasons in the league, and still has a way to go to pull that feat off this season in Florida, he’s more than deserving of earning a second MVP title instead James — who is widely considered to be the other favorite for the honor.
The numbers back that up.
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