Whether or not Russell Westbrook gets the triple-double average or not, he’s going to be making history.
While Oscar Roberson was the first to average a triple-double for the season, Westbrook’s two-year run is the best in NBA history. However, to reach the back-to-back triple-double averages will surpass any Roberson comparison.
Even if Roberson’s closest season, he averaged 10.1 rebounds and 9.7 assists per game to get near the mark in his rookie season. He never reached that point again in his career.
For Westbrook, the average comes with criticisms. Most of it is unwarranted. They say he’s a stat stuffer. Sure, there are times within his past two years where he’s openly chasing rebounds or assists. Rarely in those games does it hurt what Oklahoma City is doing.
“I don’t think Russell’s ever played that way,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said of Westbrook going after the mark. “I think he’s always focused on winning.”
That’s what he’s done, especially over the last week. Westbrook’s numbers have skyrocketed and in the same sense, Oklahoma City’s winning ways have returned. The Thunder are 3-1 over their last four games with Westbrook averaging 14.0 rebounds per game.
“A lot of people make jokes about stat-padding or going to get rebounds,” Westbrook said. “If people could get 20 rebounds every night, they would. If people could get 15 rebounds, they would. The people that’s talking or saying what they need to say, they should try doing it and seeing how hard it is, since everybody wants to be talking.”
Some of the talk has been laughed at, Westbrook only cares about numbers. However, we’ve seen the Warriors do the same thing last night as Klay Thompson came in, scored a couple of buckets, down 40 points, to preserve his 20.0 points per game average.
“The scoring part is the easy part of the triple-double,” Donovan said. “It just is because he’s going to be able to score. It’s the other things that he does that impacts winning. Rebounding helps us win. The assists get other people involved. I think it speaks to him as a player, more than anything else, in how unique he is.”
Westbrook is averaging 25.6 points, 10.1 rebounds and 9.9 rebounds in 79 games this season. Oklahoma City is 20-5 when the Brodie triple-doubles.
In a season with ups and downs, and with other superstars, for Westbrook to b in this position is truly magical. He’s the motor and the heart of the Thunder. They go as he goes. Oklahoma City’s success is generated off Westbrook’s play. To be 16 rebounds on this team, and with only 25 triple-doubles, shows how special Westbrook really is.
“My job is to do everything,” Westbrook said. “That’s what I do. I go out and do everything and I do it on a night-in, night-out basis. Nobody else do the same [expletive] I do every night.”
16. That’s all he needs for immortality. Whether or not Westbrook gets it tonight doesn’t matter. He’s put himself in the talk of one of the best guards in NBA history. He’s won an NBA MVP and our hearts.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!