The PER Power Rankings

Now that we’re around 20% of the way into the new season, the Dunkyard has ranked each team based on the aggregate of its top-5 players by PER (minimum of 250 minutes played).

Some of the results will surprise you.

1. LA Clippers – 111.1

  • Paul – 29.5
  • Griffin – 25.8
  • Speights – 19.9
  • Reddick – 18.4
  • Jordan – 17.5

Chris Paul is playing at an MVP level. Of course, he had to pick the season where Harden and Westbrook are averaging more than 30 points and 10 assists and reviving Tiny ball. Meanwhile, Speights could well have been the pickup of the year.

2. Golden State – 107.5

  • Durant – 30.8
  • Curry – 26.7
  • Green – 19.4
  • Pachulia – 15.6
  • Thompson – 15.0

The Warriors have sleepwalked themselves to this point – and Klay hasn’t even started playing to his normal level yet. Eep.

3. San Antonio – 106.1

  • Leonard – 28.4
  • Lee – 22.0
  • Aldridge – 19.1
  • Gasol – 18.4
  • Mills – 18.2

Of course Pop was able to complete the David Lee reclamation project.

4. Cleveland – 102.9

  • James – 26.8
  • Love – 25.6
  • Irving – 21.9
  • Thompson – 16
  • Shumpert – 12.6

With the confidence that comes with being the third best player on a championship team, Kevin Love is starting to rekindle his Minnesota level of play. His 34 first quarter points against the Blazers (including 8/10 threes) were simply insane.

5. Utah – 99.4

  • Hill – 27.6
  • Gobert – 20.3
  • Hayward – 19.2
  • Favors – 16.4
  • Hood – 15.9

Hill has played out of this world to start the season and has more than made up for the absence of Favors due to injury. While it can’t possibly last, it’s fun to watch and it could still nonetheless be the makings of a career year for Hill. No, I still wouldn’t trade him for Kawhi Leonard.

6. Toronto – 99.2

  • DeRozan – 27.1
  • Valanciunas – 20.9
  • Lowry – 18.7
  • Ross – 18.2
  • Carroll – 14.3

Can somebody please tell Dwayne Casey to fucking play Valanciunas.

7. Chicago – 97.2

  • Butler – 29.4
  • Wade – 20.9
  • Gibson – 17.0
  • Lopez – 15.9
  • Mirotic – 14.0

The sooner the Bulls realise that Rondo doesn’t fit the better. Wade, on the other other hand, has been his usual solid self and Butler is playing at an MVP level.

8. Indiana – 95.3

  • Turner – 20.8
  • Miles – 20.6
  • George – 19.0
  • Teague – 18.4
  • Young – 16.5

George has had a slow start. If the rest of the team can maintain their impressive levels of play by the time George gets back to his normal levels, then this team could make some noise in the East.

9. Oklahoma – 94.3

  • Westbrook – 31.4
  • Kanter – 23.0
  • Oladipo – 14.5
  • Adams – 13.9
  • Grant – 11.5

Can Westbrook keep this up? Can anybody stop him? That aside, it’s about time OKC realised that it may be better to live with Kanter’s poor defense and unleash him at the offensive end. His efficiency there is staggering.

10. Boston – 94.3

  • Thomas 25.2
  • Horford 22.1*
  • Crowder 16.6*
  • Bradley 16.5
  • Rozier 13.9

Special cases were made for Horford and Crowder here. They both had early season injuries, have played over 200 minutes and are back playing. Including them clearly provides a better picture of Boston’s standing. Despite their erratic start, Boston isn’t going anywhere. A top-4 finish in the East is likely, with a top-6 finish being almost certain.

11. Houston – 93.2

  • Harden – 29.0
  • Capela – 20.6
  • Ariza – 14.8
  • Hilario – 14.7
  • Dekker – 14.1

Do you think the folks in Houston are missing Dwight?

12. LA Lakers – 91.3

  • Williams – 22.9
  • Randle – 17.5
  • Russell – 17.3
  • Nance Jr – 17.3
  • Mozgov – 16.3

I think it’s safe to say that Luke Walton is a great coach. Freed from the shackles of the oppressive and dour Byron Scott, Lou Williams and Nick Young have revived themselves and the Lakers have surprised early on. Just don’t expect it to last though.

13. Charlotte

  • Walker – 26.4
  • Zeller – 20.7
  • Batum – 15.2
  • Kaminsky – 15.0
  • Bellinelli – 14.0

Walker is finally announcing himself as a clear-cut All-star. For all the hype surrounding Batum, it’s Zeller who’s playing at a borderline All-star level. Yes, I just said that.

14. Washington – 91.1

  • Wall – 25.3
  • Porter – 19.4
  • Beal – 17.9
  • Gortat – 16.2
  • Morris – 12.3

Wall is playing at a very high level and Porter may be on the cusp of making a serious leap. Max contract Beal, on the other hand, needs to be traded. By the way, how’s that Markieff Morris trade going?

15. New Orleans – 90.8

  • Davis – 31.4
  • Jones – 17.0
  • Frazier – 15.4
  • Galloway – 13.7
  • Moore – 13.3

This team should be renamed Anthony Davis and the New Orleans flotsam. How did it get to this? At least Holiday is back and the team has gone 6-3 since that awful 0-8 start.

16. Atlanta – 88.9

  • Howard – 23.0
  • Millsap – 17.9
  • Muscala – 17.5
  • Sefolosha – 15.7
  • Hardaway – 14.8

Howard has been fantastic in his homecoming so far. Can he keep it up? Colour me skeptical. To think these guys are 10-6 without any real point guard play. Amazing.

17. Milwaukee – 88.6

  • Antetokounmpo – 25.6
  • Monroe – 23.2
  • Parker – 18.3
  • Dellavedova – 10.9
  • Brogdon – 10.6

The Greek Freak will be an All-star this season. Meanwhile, the search goes on for a three point shot in Milwaukee.

18. New York – 87.7

  • Porzingis – 21.7
  • Anthony – 21.5
  • Noah – 15.7
  • Rose – 14.7
  • Jennings – 14.1

The Zinger has officially arrived as the Knicks’ best player. An All-star berth looks very possible this season. Despite Derek Rose dragging things down, there’s a buzz around the Garden that hasn’t been heard for years.

19. Portland – 87.4

  • Lillard – 25.8
  • McCollum – 19.4
  • Plumlee – 18.1
  • Harkless – 13.7
  • Turner – 10.4

Portland are suffering from the Plexiglass principle – where teams making unexpected large gains one season give large chunks of those gains back the following season. There’s still a solid team there, it just isn’t anything close to a contender and won’t ever be without a real defense.

20. Memphis – 85.2

  • Conley 23.1
  • Randolph 20.5
  • Gasol 17.5
  • Ennis 12.1
  • Carter 12.0

Too good to earn a high draft pick and nowhere near good enough to contend. Yawn.

21. Brooklyn – 84.9

  • Lopez – 23.7
  • Booker – 19.4
  • Bogdanovic – 14.4
  • Kilpatrick – 13.8
  • Hamilton – 13.6

I don’t think anybody expected these guys to already have four wins (let alone four wins for the whole season). In that sense, this season has already been a wild success for the Nets.

22. Denver – 84.6

  • Faried – 20.5
  • Chandler – 18.0
  • Nurkic – 16.1
  • Jokic – 15.4
  • Chandler – 14.6

While Mudiay has shown glimpses of star quality play, he’s still struggling mightily (PER 10.2) and shows no signs of breaking through just yet. Rookie Jamal Murray has been solid (PER 12.9) on the other hand and looks more likely than Mudiay to give the Nuggets the star it so desperately needs.

23. Detroit – 83.6

  • Drummond – 22.4
  • Harris – 15.8
  • Leuer – 15.7
  • Udrih – 15.0
  • Pope – 14.7

The Pistons have done a very solid job of holding things together in the absence of Reggie Jackson. When he comes back, they’ll look to push on and challenge for a top-4 or top-6 spot in the East.

24. Sacramento – 83.0

  • Cousins – 27.8
  • Gay – 19.4
  • Temple – 12.4
  • Koufos – 11.9
  • Lawson – 11.5

Unsurprisingly, the ‘get me the fuck outta here’ version of Rudy Gay is playing well. Will anyone be able to defy their team’s marketing and jersey sales department and take him on?

25. Minnesota – 82.5

  • Towns – 22.5
  • Wiggins – 17.1
  • LaVine – 15.5
  • Dieng – 15.5
  • Bjelica – 11.9

The Dunkyard had a feeling that it was too early to anoint the Wolves as the next big thing. That said, watch for them to improve as the season goes on and possibly reach 40 wins. PS: has anybody realised yet that Rubio can’t play NBA basketball?

26. Miami – 82.4

  • Whiteside – 24.1
  • J. Johnson – 16.0
  • T. Johnson – 15.8
  • Dragic – 15.7
  • McGruder – 10.8

When Mc Gruder has your fifth highest PER at 10.8, you’ve got problems.

27. Philadelphia – 78.4

  • Embiid – 23.0
  • Ilyasova – 15.7
  • Thompson – 13.5
  • Okafor – 13.4
  • Henderson – 12.8

Ranking number one on my League Pass minutes consumed is Philly. Trust me when I say we’re on the verge of witnessing something special in Joel Embiid. I can’t wait until the team’s medical staff remove that pesky 24 minute restriction on his game time.

28. Phoenix – 75.6

  • Bledsoe – 18.0
  • Warren – 17.3
  • Len – 15.5
  • Booker – 12.6
  • Dudley – 12.2

Amidst all the hype, Booker has struggled to start the season – shooting a miserable 32.9% behind the arc. Here’s hoping that he can turn things around sooner rather than later.

29. Orlando – 74.2

  • Vucevic – 17.4
  • Ibaka – 16.2
  • Payton – 14.1
  • Fournier – 13.6
  • Augustin – 12.9

Let me know when these guys find someone who can put the ball in the hole. At least the defense has been more or less as advertised – ranking 7th overall.

30. Dallas – 72.0

  • Barea – 17.8
  • Barnes – 16.8
  • Powell – 14.6
  • Curry – 11.5
  • Anderson – 11.3

PS: Dirk’s PER was 11.9. That’s about all I have to say for this train wreck.