Someone Tried To Use The Sketchiest Stat To Expose Caitlin Clark’s Case For Rookie Of The Year, And Social Media Is Having None Of It

Caitlin Clark of Indiana Fever looking ahead.Caitlin Clark (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Basketball fans are destroying a polarizing stat that undermines Caitlin Clark’s grade-A production in her rookie season.

Caitlin Clark was drafted first overall by the Indiana Fever this year, and the all-time NCAA Division I scoring leader has lived up to the hype in every aspect. The 22-year-old is averaging 16.1 points, 6.0 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game through her first 22 WNBA contests.

Clark’s efforts have helped Indiana surge into the playoff picture following a miserable 1-8 start. Having won six of their last nine games, the Fever (9-13) occupy the seventh seed and are only 2.5 games behind the Phoenix Mercury for the No. 6 spot.

But as noted by the @CClarkReport X/Twitter account, the widely-used player efficiency rating (PER) advanced statistic suggests that Caitlin Clark shouldn’t even be the WNBA Rookie of the Year.

This doesn’t make sense, since Clark is the overwhelming favorite to win the honors at practically about every sportsbook. The stats don’t lie, after all.

Fans on X/Twitter wasted no time exposing the statistic while defending Caitlin Clark:

Former Memphis Grizzlies VP of basketball operations John Hollinger, now a writer at The Athletic, designed the PER stat. As ESPN outlines it, PER is “the overall rating of a player’s per-minute statistical production.”

Few advanced statistics in the sporting world draw more outcry and debate than PER in basketball. And Caitlin Clark’s incredible rookie season is just another compelling case that the formula for PER is far from perfect.

Advanced Stats Can’t Ignore Caitlin Clark’s Impact For Indiana

At the end of the day, one just has to look at how much the team has improved with Clark this season. They went 13-27 a year ago and failed to win double-digit games in each of the three years prior.

Indiana last made the postseason in 2016, albeit with a 17-17 record that culminated with a first round loss at the hands of Phoenix. Indiana hasn’t topped 13 wins in a season since 2017, yet Clark has them on track to easily surpass that number here in 2024.

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