With approximately two weeks left in the 2016-17 regular season and 99 total triple doubles notched across all players, this season has already accumulated the most triple-doubles league-wide in NBA history.
When Ricky Rubio got his first triple double of the season on March 4th, 2017, the league-wide total hit 79 thus surpassing the 1988-89 season for that record.
With so much time left in the regular season with
87 99 triple doubles and counting, can this season top 100 triple doubles? The short answer is yes. When it does, it would (further) demolish the previous record season total of 78 triple doubles accomplished in 1988-89. And we believe that would usher in a new era of the triple-double becoming less of a rare feat.
The Path to 100 Triple Doubles in One NBA Season
So how did this season become the season for triple doubles? Russell Westbrook is averaging a triple double for a season and is shouldering the weight of the milestone; chasing down Oscar Robertson‘s individual record. Westbrook is anchored by James Harden and LeBron James efforts.
With Kevin Durant out, Draymond Green‘s usage and impact will increase for the faltering Warriors. And Nikola Jokic is starting to play more minutes for Denver and not look over his big shoulders now that the Nuggets traded Jusef Nurkic away.
With all those factors, it’s not a stretch of the imagination to see these three pull off another 13 triple doubles with 16 or so games remaining for each of them. UPDATE: We’ve surpassed 100 triples and updated the following table on 4/2/2017
So, Will the 2016-17 NBA season Surpass 100 Triple Doubles?
One hundred triple doubles would be a 26.9% increase from the previous season and would stand as a record that surpassed another record by a significant amount. That’s similar to Wilt’s one-hundred point game or Steph Curry’s 402 three-pointers in a season.
When Wilt hit the triple digit scoring game in the 1961-62 season, he shattered his own single-game scoring record of 78 from earlier in the season — that’s a 28.2% increase in scoring output (and that 100 point game still stands).
And when Curry hit 402 threes in the 2015-16 regular season, he smashed his own record of 286 by nearly 29%. Can the NBA top 100 triple doubles with 16 games left? We think the league will easily surpass the 100 mark and it will go down as an milestone in the NBA’s evolution.