With six games remaining, here’s an update on exactly what Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook needs to do in order to become just the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double over an entire NBA season.
This is going to happen, folks. And it’s likely going to happen at some point this week. It’s just a matter of which game. After another week of dominating performances, including a record-setting night in Orlando this past Wednesday, Russell Westbrook is inching closer and closer to becoming just the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double over the course of an entire season. The first to accomplish this amazing feat, of course, was Oscar Robertson, who averaged 30.8 points, 11.4 assists and 12.5 rebounds per game in the 1961-62 season while putting up a total of 41 triple-doubles.
Much like what may end up happening to Russell Westbrook, Robertson did not win the MVP that year. In fact, he didn’t even come in second. Bill Russell ended up winning the award that year (18.9 points, 23.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists) and Wilt Chamberlain, who averaged more than 50 points and 25 rebounds, was the runner-up. That’s three of the greatest individual seasons in the history of basketball.
While Westbrook is enjoying one of the most successful individual campaigns in NBA history, the fact that the Oklahoma City Thunder aren’t considered a real threat to win the title may just keep the MVP trophy out of his hands. There are a few names out there like LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard that may pose a threat but the biggest competition right now still has to be James Harden, who’s having an amazing season of his own. But there’s also the possibility that the former teammates may end up sharing the award, which would almost make the most sense right now. But Russell Westbrook continues to impress and regardless of whether or not he wins the MVP, he’s on track for history.
So let’s break down the triple-double stats for Westbrook and see exactly what he needs to do over the next six games to become just the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double for an entire season.
What are Russell Westbrook’s current averages? Through 76 games, he’s averaging 31.9 points, 10.4 assists and 10.7 rebounds.
What would Russell Westbrook have to average the rest of the season to make it with a triple-double? Thus far, Westbrook has played in all 76 games the Thunder have played this season so we’re going to go ahead and assume that he’s going to play in all 82 games, meaning he would need a total of 820 points, 820 assists and 820 rebounds to average a triple-double.
We already know that the points are not an issue. He took care of that back on Dec. 17 by scoring 26 in a win against the Phoenix Suns, which put him at 820 exactly.
Through 76 games, he has a total of 790 assists, meaning he needs 30 assists over the next six games, which comes to an average of five assists per game. Yes, this is going to happen.
Through 76 games, he has a total of 810 rebounds, meaning he needs 10 rebounds over the next six games, which comes to an average of 1.7 rebounds per game. Again, yes, this is going to happen.
What was Russell Westbrook’s fastest triple-double of the season? Westbrook’s fastest triple-double this season came back on New Year’s Eve in a win over the Los Angeles Clippers. He had his 16th triple-double of the season in about 19 minutes, just two minutes shy of the NBA record set by Jim Tucker in 1955, with 11 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds before halftime. Westbrook didn’t play much of the second half in the 114-88 blowout victory and ended the night with 17 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds.
What was Russell Westbrook’s best triple-double of the season? According to Game Score, a formula used at Basketball Reference to measure a player’s single game productivity, Russell Westbrook’s best triple-double of the season came just this past Wednesday night in Orlando in a 114-106 win, a game in which he scored 57 points (which is the highest point total in NBA history in a triple-double), dished out 11 assists and snagged 13 rebounds. Oddly enough, his second-highest triple-double score came back on Nov. 13 in a two-point home loss to those same Orlando Magic. Westbrook shot 14-for-18 from the floor that night and ended up with 41 points, 16 assists and 12 rebounds.
How many triple-doubles does Russell Westbrook have this season? Through 76 games, Westbrook has 40 triple-doubles, good for second on the all-time single season list and just one behind Oscar Robertson, who as I mentioned earlier put up 41 in the 1961-62 campaign.
Where is Russell Westbrook on the career triple-double list? Westbrook currently sits in fifth place on the all-time career triple-double list with 77 and has passed Larry Bird and LeBron James with his output this season and will likely pass another legendary figure in the next week. The four players ahead of him are Wilt Chamberlain (78), Jason Kidd (107), Magic Johnson (138) and of course, Oscar Robertson (181).
Who does Russell Westbrook play against this week? The Thunder wrap up a three-game homestand on Tuesday night with their second and final matchup of the year with the Milwaukee Bucks, who Westbrook and company will be looking to even up the score against after losing to them back on January 2. Westbrook put up 30 points, six assists and seven rebounds in that loss.
They’ll then hit the road for a Wednesday night game in Memphis. The Thunder hold a 2-1 edge in the season series thus far and Westbrook has averaged 27.7 points, eight assists and 10.3 rebounds in those three games.
They’ll then travel to Phoenix for a Friday night game and the Suns have to be ecstatic that this is the last time they’ll see Russell Westbrook this season as he’s absolutely torched them this year to the tune of 41.7 points, 13.7 assists and 13.7 rebounds in three games. OKC has gone 2-1 against Phoenix this year.
They’ll finish up the week in Denver, who they’ve beaten in both of their meetings this year and Westbrook has played well against them with averages of 34 points, 14 assists and 14 rebounds.
Be sure to keep checking back in with FanSided as we’ll be monitoring Russell Westbrook all week and updating you on his progress towards history.