What Does PPG Mean in Basketball? (Explained)

Statistics can be everything to a basketball player. The numbers projected in players’ report sheets are more than valuable as those figures can dictate their athletic career, particularly for professional basketball leagues like the NBA. One important statistic is PPG. But what does PPG mean in basketball?

PPG is short for points per game. As its name implies, it’s the number of successful points made per game. A player’s salary and career can depend on this valuable metric.

How do you calculate the basketball players’ PPG? Also, what is the threshold for a good PPG? Who has the most PPG in the NBA? Continue reading to find out the answers to these questions.

What is PPG?

Points per game (PPG) is a statistic that denotes the average points gained by a player for each game. For example, Player A joins three games in a three-game season. That athlete scored 10 points in Game 1, 15 in Game 2, and 12 in Game 3. Therefore, the total points that the player gained for the entire season are 37 with a 12.33 PPG.

How to Calculate the Basketball Players’ PPG?

The formula for calculating a basketball player’s PPG is the total points gained for the entire season divided by the number of games for that season. For example, if a basketball player acquired 100 points for an entire 82-game NBA season, his PPG would be 1.22.

What is a Good PPG in Basketball?

A ‘good’ PPG is subjective since this metric only measures the points gained from games. Take note that basketball players, particularly in the NBA, have specific roles to play on the court. Some roles, like centers, can block more than they shoot. Therefore, the PPG metric isn’t a clear indicator if a player is performing well in the court or not.

Nonetheless, some designated basketball roles can have more chances at making baskets than others. Furthermore, some NBA players excel at shooting more than their peers.

Who has the Most PPG in the NBA?

The NBA has no shortage of excellent point makers. Certain professional basketball athletes have better skills in shooting than their fellow leaguers. Here’s a list of some NBA players with the highest PPGs of all time.

1. Michael Jordan

This list won’t be complete without MJ himself. Even if you’re not a basketball enthusiast, you should know about Jordan because of his many feats on and off the court.

While on the basketball court, Jordan would zip in and out of opponents as he makes one successful shot after another. His professional basketball career even led to his acquisition of many awards, including:

Aside from these awards, Jordan also carried his team, the Chicago Bulls, to many victories. As such, the Bulls garnered many awards during Jordan’s professional athletic career.

Jordan shines on the court because some games allowed him to gain an average of 2:1 shooting ratio. In other words, he would land one basket for every two attempted shots. It’s because of Jordan’s all-around basketball skills that allowed him to be at the top spot for the highest PPG in NBA history. His 30.12 PPG remains unbeaten, even at the time of writing.

2. Wilt Chamberlain

Coming at a close second to Jordan’s PPG is Wilton ‘Wilt’ Norman Chamberlain. If you’re wondering how close he got to dethroning Jordan, Chamberlain has a 30.07 PPG. That’s an average of 0.05 shots per game to beat Jordan as the best shooter in the NBA.

As it stands, the two couldn’t meet in the court because Chamberlain is an older athlete than Jordan. Chamberlain’s first season in the league was during the 1959 to 1960 playoffs. Further, his last season was the 1973 to 1974 playoffs, wherein Chamberlain did not play. On the other hand, Jordan entered the NBA as the third overall pick in the 1984 NBA draft.

3. Elgin Baylor

Known by many nicknames, such as ‘Tick Tock,’ ‘Aches and Pains,’ and ‘Motormouth,’ Elgin Gay Baylor has a recorded 27.36 PPG.

Born in September 1934, Baylor entered the NBA in 1958 as part of the league’s draft for that year. He even decided to skip his senior year to become a professional basketball player. Baylor’s superb performance on the basketball court allowed him to gain awards from the league and the rest of the sports world.

In the 1958 to 1959 season, Baylor became Rookie of the Year. Additionally, he became the NBA All-Star Game MVP in 1959. Plus, he helped carry his team, the Minneapolis Lakers (now known as the Los Angeles Lakers) to victory in 1972.

Baylor ended his NBA career as a player in 1971. However, he returned to the league as a coach for the New Orleans Jazz three years later.

Aside from these players, here are some notable athletes in the NBA with exceptionally high PPGs.

Final Words

PPG is an important metric in basketball that signifies the number of points gained per game by a player. It’s not difficult to calculate players’ PPGs. Additionally, some NBA players have higher PPGs than other athletes in the league. These professional players prove their basketball prowess on the court as they rack more points than others.

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Aaron Jones

My name is Aaron and I am the owner of Make Shots. On this site, I discuss the most frequently asked basketball questions and give my opinions. My love for basketball started in 2010 and ever since I have fallen in love with the sport.
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