Masters of their Craft:The Triple-Double

What Russell Westbrook and James Harden have done this season regarding the statistical aspect of the game is something very special. A triple-double is the ability to reach double-digits in three of the five statistical categories(points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals) throughout a single game.

Almost into the 2017 NBA All-Star break, Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder is currently averaging a triple-double with 30.9PPG,  10.5RPG & 10.2APG. An achievement which hasn’t been matched by a single player since Oscar Robertson did so in the entire  1961-62 season. To boot, Westbrook has also notched a total of 26 triple-doubles in only 54 games played. Meanwhile, over the course of this soon to be historic season, Westbrook is climbing the ladder on the all time leaders list in triple-doubles where he currently sits in 5th place all time behind only Wilt Chamberlain(78), Jason Kidd(107), Magic Johnson(138) and Oscar Robertson(181). Just to name a few more of these absurd stats, the guard also tied MJ and the Big O for 2nd all time in most consecutive triple-doubles over a 7 game span which lasted over 2 weeks. In addition, the 6’3 court general was able  to put up a triple-double in just 17 minutes of playing time which places him in 2nd all time in this feat as well. But, the most impressive of these achievements is the fact that he is even in the ball park to push for the most triple-doubles in a single season as he trails only Wilt Chamberlain(31) and Oscar Robertson(41). As this season for the ages continues, the fiery and versatile #0 is only just getting started on what could be one of the greatest individual seasons in NBA history….potentially en route to his first MVP award.

In somewhat of a completely different manner, James Harden is making the triple-double his own. Harden is currently averaging 28.9PPG, 8.2RPB and a league leading 11.3APG. Although Harden may only have 14 total triple-doubles this year compared to Westbrook’s 26, he is notably first league wide with an impressive 44 double-doubles. The Beard is simply carrying the Houston Rockets as they sit in 3rd place in the Western Conference and seemingly only get better each and every night. The most jaw dropping stat accomplished by the 6’5 guard is the fact he’s recorded 2 50+ point triple-doubles this season with 53P, 16R & 17A vs the Knicks on Dec 31st, then again on January 27th vs the 76ers where he posted 51P, 13R & 13. To add to this supposed impossible triumph, Harden has also put up five 40+ point triple doubles this year tying the great Hakeem Olajuwon. Harden’s straight up offensive flair make his efficiency just that much greater only improving his chances of repeating these incredible numbers.

The league is really starting to take notice of these two generational talents who are only 28 and 27 years old respectively. Expect to hear their names over the course of their prime and on as they’ll surely continue to maximize their full potential and obliterate any record in their way. The only question I’ll leave you with down the final stretch of this NBA season is who deserves the MVP award more? Westbrook or Harden….

 

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