Charlotte Hornets: Kemba and Hernangomez among leaders in efficiency

Charlotte Hornets Kemba Walker (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Kemba Walker (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Despite Friday’s win over Denver, the Charlotte Hornets have not played their best recently, but they do have two players ranking in the top 10 in PER among the Eastern Conference.

Everyone wants the Charlotte Hornets to play better basketball. It is apparent that some type of change needs to happen to turn this ship around and get back on track in the Eastern Conference. The Hornets are a team that looks to have too many role players, and not enough clear-cut talent. Unless a trade occurs, or some players get more minutes and quickly develop in front of our eyes, we have to work with what we have.

An interesting statistic that is not talked about enough is PER. PER stands for “Player Efficiency Rating”. It was developed by John Hollinger, and is an all-in-one statistic that “sums up all a player’s positive accomplishments, subtracts the negative accomplishments, and returns a per-minute rating of a player’s performance.”

It takes pace into account, not penalizing players who are on teams that score less points than the fast-pace Golden State Warriors. It is also calculated on per-minute basis. That is done so you can compare players like Tony Parker (who plays much less than he did years ago), to the efficiency of a player like Trae Young, who is a full fledged starter.

The crazy thing is that the Charlotte Hornets have two top-10 players in PER in the Eastern Conference.

Willy Hernangomez sits at 8th with a 23.41 PER, and Kemba Walker sits at 10th with a 22.74 PER. To compare, Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the Conference with a 28.72, and is followed by Nikola Vucevic of the Orlando Magic (27.00 PER).

This is a statistic that does not account for defensive plays aside from blocks and steals for players who are amazing defensive players, but do not accumulate many blocks and steals, this statistic may not prove to be as important as it seems.

Hernangomez has only played 18 total minutes over the last 9 games, that includes the game he missed because of injury. Frank Kaminsky has now taken his minutes in the rotation but this statistic makes you think, why?

PER is saying that Willy Hernangomez in his time on the floor, is the most efficient and realistically, the most active.

According to Hollinger, the average PER for an NBA player is 15.0. Anything above a 20.0 should relate to borderline All-Star up to anything over 35.0 as an All-Time season.

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There are flaws with this statistic, obviously. It does not include everything needed, and does not add certain parts of the game that could add or negate players efficiency, but it is a cool statistic to look at. And, it is nice to have some Hornets at the top of the Eastern Conference in the a statistical category.