Something has clicked with Russell Westbrook and he’s taking his impressive skills to another level. Something clicked with Westbrook and if there is a race for MVP as the Oklahoma City Thunder moves up the Western Conference rankings, Westbrook has firmly cemented his name as a candidate.
Westbrook recently had a streak of four consecutive triple-doubles broken, but after posting 43 points, 7 assists and 8 rebounds, he came back with another triple double in a win over the Toronto Raptors last night tallying 30 points, 11 rebounds and tying his career high with 17 points. If Westbrook had one more turnover, he would have gotten a quadruple double, but we’re trying to stay positive about Russell here.
There isn’t a more devastating guard, forward or center in the league that can match his visceral impact.
Since the All-Star game, Westbrook averaged a triple double: 34.3 points, 10.2 rebounds and 11.4 assists. Take a look at his game log for the last nine games:
Those are some really impressive numbers. In that stretch he’s come up short two rebounds for triple doubles.
He’ll need five more triple doubles in a row to catch Michael Jordan’s streak of 10 triple doubles in 11 games back in the 1988-89 season.
Can Westbrook Average a Triple Double for the Season?
Every few seasons, there’s talk about a player averaging a triple double throughout a season, and Westbrook is as likely a candidate as there’s ever been in the last couple decades. His all-out play every second that he is on the court puts him ahead of previous “players-that-can-average-triple-doubles” like LeBron James and Jason Kidd.
With his improved level of play and decision making, Westbrook has tallied 8 games of double-digit assists out of nine games. Prior to the All-Star Game? He only had one stretch of consecutive double-digit assists: a two game stretch in January when he recorded 11 assists in two games versus Cleveland and Atlanta.
Yes, I think Westbrook can average a triple double, and that’s with Kevin Durant on the court. Really, Westbrook doesn’t have a problem scoring (a la Jason Kidd) and having Durant on the court will allow him to get assists easier (theoretically).
Westbrook’s barrier isn’t whether Kevin Durant is playing or not, it’s rebounds. To his credit he goes after defensive rebounds and offensive rebounds with equal ferocity, but being a guard and shorter, that one stat will stand in his way of accomplishing an insane feat only done by one player in NBA history — Oscar Robertson.
In any case, the way that Westbrook is playing, we can’t believe that he is the second best player on the Thunder. If he keeps this up over the next 10 games, that might even be arguable.