NBA: 25 Greatest playoff performers in history, ranked by Player Efficiency Rating (PER)

Taking a look at the greatest playoff performers in NBA history.

San Antonio Spurs v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Six
San Antonio Spurs v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Six / J Pat Carter/GettyImages
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Ranking the 25 greatest NBA playoff performers based on Player Efficiency Rating (PER).

As the end of the 2023-24 NBA regular season quickly approaches, it's only natural to begin to look forward to what can transpire during the NBA Playoffs. The Playoffs are where big-time players make the biggest names for themselves. Looking back, we'll dig into the best - and most efficient - playoff performers in NBA history thanks in part to the NBA's PER (player efficiency rating) stat.

What is PER?

PER in the NBA stands for Player Efficiency Rating. In the words of its creator, John Hollinger, "the player efficiency rating (PER) is a rating of a player's per-minute productivity while being pace-adjusted." The league average PER, for reference, is 15.00.

Essentially, the PER stat measures how efficient an NBA player is while accounting for different roles, minutes played, etc. This stat was created in part to allow players across the board to be compared in a somewhat fair manner. With that understanding, let's explore the 25 greatest playoff performers in NBA history, ranked by this PER stat.

25. Dwyane Wade (22.37 PER)

Known to be one of the most clutch players in NBA history, it's no surprise to see Dwyane Wade ranked No. 25 on this list of the most efficient playoff players (via PER) in history. Over the course of his career, Wade averaged 22 points, four rebounds, and four assists per game on 47 percent shooting from the field and 34 percent shooting from 3-point range. But when you think of Wade and his playoff success, you generally think of his performance in the 2006 NBA Finals.

In what will be remembered as one of the best NBA Finals performances, Wade averaged 35 points, eight rebounds, and four assists on 47 percent shooting from the field en route to his first of three NBA Championships with the Miami Heat.