4 factors that will decide the outcome of the 2021 NBA MVP race

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers, NBA Rumors
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Player Efficiency Rating

Player Efficiency Rating is a newer stat used in the NBA that is a measure of a player’s per-minute production that displays a number to represent a certain player’s value with the league average being 15. For example, during both of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s MVP seasons over the last two seasons, his Player Efficiency Rating was 30.9 in 2018-19 and 31.9 in 2019-20. 

This statistic has been extremely accurate in predicting the MVP award recipient over the years, as 10 of the last 12 players who won the award led the league in Player Efficiency Rating during the regular season. 

So far this year, Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid are the only players to have a PER of 30+ throughout the entire season and both have gone back-and-forth between ranking 1st and 2nd in the league in this statistic. 

A giant pool of players in Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard and Luka Doncic all trail Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid by a couple points, but this statistic has been extremely accurate over the years in terms of its correlation to who wins the MVP award. 

The race for the top Player Efficiency Rating in the league is something to keep an eye on for the remainder of the 2020-21 NBA Season. There is a very high probability that whoever ends up leading the league in this stat by the end of the regular season will be the MVP of the 2020-21 season. 

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Brett Siegel joined NBA Analysis Network as a NBA Insider in 2020. For all up-to-date NBA news, stats and info, and any inquiries, be sure to follow him on Twitter @BrettSiegelNBA.