Triple-Double Watch Week 22: A hat trick of hat tricks

TORONTO, CANADA - MARCH 18: Russell Westbrook
TORONTO, CANADA - MARCH 18: Russell Westbrook /

Welcome to Triple-Double Watch, a weekly check-in on everyone’s favorite arbitrary milestone of round, base-ten numbers.

It’s the grandest week of the season for the Triple-Double Watch. Not only did the past seven days see a boisterous boon with a total of 11 triple-doubles (the most all year), we were gifted a trio of hat tricks. They came from the usual suspects.

Russell Westbrook was responsible for the first hat trick. The Avant Guard’s onslaught pushed him past his 100th career triple-double, putting him only five back of Jason Kidd’s temporary standing with the third-most all-time. Westbrook’s triad crescendoed with a 37-point, 13-rebound, 14-assist performance in a huge win over the Raptors. When combined with the fact he shot 68.2 percent in the effort, nobody else has put up that stat line in the past 30 seasons, per StatMuse.

The Thunder are winners of six straight and eight of their last 10. Non-coincidentally, Westbrook inches closer to averaging a triple-double on the season, only needing an increase of 0.3 rebounds per game.

In his ceaseless endeavor to caulk over all the Cavaliers’ fissures like plaster, LeBron James uncorked three triple-doubles of his own. Last night, he hung 40-12-10 on the Bucks in a matchup with Giannis Antetokounmpo. Before that, he only needed three quarters to log one against the Bulls. The first came in a blowout win versus the lowly Suns.

LeBron ranks sixth in NBA history with 71 triple-doubles, trailing Wilt Chamberlain by seven. He’s averaged a triple-double over Cleveland’s last 18 games, putting up 30.2 points, 10.6 boards, and 10.2 dimes since Feb. 7.

The final hat trick belongs to Ben Simmons. The redshirt rookie continues adding to his collection of multi-faceted stat lines as the 76ers climb up the standings and scare Eastern Conference foes. The ternion moves Simmons back into third place on the 2017-18 leaderboard. He passed Nikola Jokic, who also tallied another one to his dossier, but couldn’t match Simmons’ plurality.

Next: Why aren’t the Bucks … better?

The eleventh and ultimate triple-double of the week is from Nicolas Batum. The Hornets have been an abject tire fire, but Batum’s second triple-double of the year should ease the front office’s pain of paying him almost $22.5 million this season.

Atlanta got lit up for two triple-doubles this week and they now lead the league with seven given up on the year. They may be in last place in the East, but at least the Hawks are first in something: giving this column juice.