This Is Still Russell Westbrook’s Season
The Oklahoma City Thunder are 57 games into their season and Russell Westbrook is still—still!—averaging a triple-double. After laying 38-12-14 on the Knicks last night, Westbrook is heading into the All-Star break averaging 31 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists per game. It seems all but guaranteed that he will go on to become the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1961-62 to average a triple-double for a whole season.
This NBA season has felt like something of a high point; there is an overabundance of interesting storylines, exciting young players coming into their own, established star reaching new heights, and eye-catching basketball to be enjoyed on a nightly basis. There are a lot of very shiny tiles in the NBA’s mosaic right now, but none of them are as bright as the one Westbrook has crafted.
You’ve been told this before, but you really can’t hear it enough: The fact that Westbrook is averaging a triple-double more than halfway through the season in this particular era of the NBA is completely absurd. When Robertson gilded his lily in the early 60s, he was playing in a league that moved at a breakneck pace, yielding a ridiculous amount of possessions for Robertson to soak up stats with. Typical NBA games contain far fewer possessions now, which means Westbrook has much less room for error on his quest for a 30-10-10 season.
Back in December, our friends at Kyle Wagner’s math blog compared Westbrook’s current season with Robertson’s triple-double season and…