We all know the statistic known as Player Efficiency Rating (PER) has its flaws. It doesn't take defense into account fairly. And sure, it tends to favor those who play fewer minutes because it doesn't take it into consideration.
But it makes for some extremely entertaining looks into history ignoring the problem with small sample size. Currently, the Houston Rockets' Patrick Beverley is on pace to shatter the previous highest ever PER.
Beverley is already at 107.94 in PER this season, and that's not including Wednesday night's game in which he hit all three of his shots, including a three-pointer. He also had a rebound, two assists and a block to add to his seven points. I only wonder if his PER can go up from that incredible 107.94, or if his three fouls and one turnover against the Mavericks will come back to bite him in the buttocks. (Edit: it did. Beverley's PER fell to 35.16 after the stats updated for Wednesday's game. Womp womp.)
Or maybe he should go ahead and cement his legacy?
Patrick Beverley should just retire right now with the greatest PER of all time: espn.go.com/nba/player/_/i…— Brett Koremenos (@BKoremenos) January 17, 2013
But who else has made the illustrious PER Hall of Fame for wondrous individual seasons?
Jackie Butler (2004-05)
Butler was a member of the awe-inspiring Knicks squad that employed Stephon Marbury, Nazr Mohammed, Mike Sweetney, Penny Hardaway and of course Moochie Norris, among others. The 6' 10 big man wowed spectators for three games that season, scoring 10 points in only five total minutes for New York. He only had one turnover that year and didn't record a foul. A season for the ages, without a doubt.
Steven Hill (2008-09)
Alas, Steven Hill's time was too short in the NBA, only recording a single game. But oh, did he make the most of it! He only played two and a half minutes but in that short time, he hit all his shots (one) and had three total rebounds, two of which were offensive rebounds. That Thunder team only had 23 wins that year. Maybe they would have had more if they just gave Steven Hill more playing time.
George Lee (1966-67)
Lee, along with Rick Barry and Nate Thurmond, helped lead the San Francisco Warriors to the Western Conference title in 1967. During this season, Lee made history with the best season PER ever at that point in time. In the one game he played in, Lee had 12 points, going 3-for-4 from the field and 6-for-7 from the free-throw line. But one can only wonder, perhaps if the Warriors had just played George Lee in the NBA Finals, maybe they would have won the NBA title, too.
Ian Lockhart (1990-91)
You ever have those games when you feel like you just can't miss? Ian Lockhart has had a full season for the Phoenix Suns like that. He may have only played one game, but he had four points on just one FG attempt, which he made, along with two made free throws. The Suns won by 24 points that game, I might add. Coincidence? I think not.
Tyson Wheeler (1998-99)
One of the two players named Tyson to ever play in the NBA, Wheeler was the only one to go above and beyond PER expectations with a game for the Denver Nuggets. In that game, he made his only FG, a three-pointer, and went 1-for-2 on free throws. But he more than made up for the missed freebie with two dimes. Sorry Tyson Chandler, this Tyson's the only one in this Hall of Fame.
This is just a sample of the Hall of Fame's most illustrious members. There are many more who impressed the world in mere seconds or minutes. And perhaps it's not just Patrick Beverley who has a shot to make history here; Oklahoma City's Daniel Orton would have the 10th-best PER ever at 62.4 were the season to end today.
Luckily for him and other barely utilized NBA players, it doesn't end today. They can still power onward and maybe, just maybe, climb higher into the annals of PER history.