Russell Westbrook! the King of Triple-Double. Oftentimes the radar is always focusing on big guns and more glamorous players such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant or maybe a Stephen Curry, yet, silently, match-winners like Russell Westbrook is going under the radar, unnoticed, or should I say noticed, but not as much as expected, simply because he, Westbrook has made scoring triple-double so easy that, nobody counts it as such a big deal anymore.
The Oklahoma City Thunder point guard on Wednesday helped his team overcame the Los Angeles Lakers 119-103, scoring 20 points, 20 rebounds, and 21 assists, to become only the 2nd NBA player to achieve a 20-20-20 triple-double behind the great Wilt Chamberlain, who scored 22 points, 25 rebounds, and 21 assists for the Philadelphia 76ers, in a 131-121 victory over Detroit in February 2, 1968. Westbrook’s previous highest triple-double was against the same opponent, he scored 17 points, 18 rebounds, and 17 assists in a 110-93 victory over LA Lakers in the 2016/17 regular season, some familiar foes right there.
Even though Russell Westbrook was drafted into the OKC team in 2008/2009 regular season, it wasn’t until 2014/2015 regular season that his triple-double exploit started. Westbrook scored and led the 2014/15 regular season with 11 triple-double in 67 games 7 more than 2nd place, a former teammate, James Harden, now of the Houston Rockets, and he has never looked back since then, leading the chart for the 5th straight season (18 triple-doubles in 2015/16, 42 in 2016/17, 25 in 2017/18) including the current season where he leads with 31 triple-double as the time of this blog.
Westbrook’s 42 Triple-double total in 2016/17 ahead of James Harden who notched 22 and LeBron James who had 13 in 2nd and 3rd consecutively saw him, Westbrook overwhelmingly won the season’s MVP ahead of James Harden(Houston Rockets), Kawhi Leonard(San Antonio Spurs) and LeBron James(Cleveland Cavaliers). 2016/17 season also ended with Westbrook’s name written in the record book along sides Oscar Robertson of Cincinnati Royals as players that average triple-double (31.6 pts, 10.7 rebs, 10.4 asts) in a season. Westbrook also broke Robertson long-standing records of 41 triple-double total in a season.
Westbrook’s 25 triple-double total the following season was also the season’s number ranked ahead of LeBron James’ 18 triple-double, a feat that helped Westbrook averaged triple-double (25.4 pts, 10.1 rebs, 10.3 asts)for the 2nd successive regular season. Already on 31 triple-double hauls for the current campaign, with the closest player to his total is the Denver Nuggets’s Nikola Jokic with 12 triple-double. With the season rounding up, it is safe to say, Westbrook has won the gong for another year, and a 3rd successive average triple-double scored for the season with 23 pts, 11.1 rebs, and 10.5 asts already.
Westbrook’s other admirable features include his usual 30-36 feet, long-range, buzzer beater. He was once quoted saying
I practice that shot every pre-game, same spot, usually the same result, … I feel confident in shooting that shit.
Hard work pays, isn’t it?
The 30-year-old Westbrook still has some 3-4 active years of NBA, and to bet against him having at least 2 triple-double seasons out of the projected 4 will be some big calls because Russell Westbrook will continue to do what he knows how to do best, scores triple-double, whether the limelight is on him or not.
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