New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis has been on a historical tear in what’s been a fantastic third season for the former Kentucky Wildcat. For what has been considered by many an MVP type season for Davis, he’s averaging 24.6 points 10.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game on 55% shooting. Considering that Davis would be 0.2 BPG away from being the first player with a 24/10/3 season since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000, it certainly credits him MVP discussion, because Shaq was an unanimous MVP selection that year. While these are fantastic numbers that AD is putting up, what’s truly amazing is that I have yet to include his most impressive stat.Nov 14, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first quarter of a game at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Not many people look at Player Efficiency Ratings (PER) as a go-to stat when talking about the league’s best, for reasons I really don’t know why. Player Efficiency is a formula rating that is cumulated based on a player’s effectiveness on all aspects of the game. Scoring, rebounds, assists, shooting percentages, defense, turnovers, every basketball term that you can think of piled into one formula that only true mathematicians could convert.Jun 15, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) during the first quarter in game five of the 2014 NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
The top-10 PER’s of all time are all held by three of the best players of all time. Wilt Chamberlain holds the top two, with the NBA record of 31.8. Michael Jordan and Lebron James join Wilt in alternating the rest of the top ten. There are only four other players in the history of the NBA to post PER’s over 30: Shaq, David Robinson, Dywane Wade and Tracy McGrady. It is truly a wonderful statistic that labels the league’s greatest as the greatest. Why am I making such a big deal of this? Because Anthony Davis is coming.Oct 28, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) dunks over Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) during the second half of a game at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans defeated the Magic 101-84. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
I mentioned earlier that the highest PER in NBA history is Wilt’s 31.8 in 1962-1963. Well, though 48 games this season, Anthony Davis has a Player Efficiency Rating of 32.1. Obviously, we’re not even at the All-Star Break yet and there’s still 34 games left to play this season. However, AD has shown no sign of letting up, and if he can keep that incredible PER where it is and set a seemingly unbreakable NBA record, how do you not name this guy MVP?