Westbrook Triple-Doubles Vs. Everybody
By Brian Martin
Update (1/20/2020): On Jan. 20, Russell Westbrook recorded a triple-double in Houston's loss to Oklahoma City, giving him a triple-double against all 30 teams in the NBA. LeBron James is the only other player to accomplish this feat.
Update (12/11/2019): This article has been updated to correct an error to the chart that had mistakenly listed Denver twice as allowing three and one triple-doubles to Westbrook. The correct entry is four triple-doubles allowed, which is now reflected below. Also, since this article was originally published on Oct. 31, 2017, Westbrook has been traded to Houston, which gives him the chance to record a triple-double against all 30 NBA teams. He came up one assist shy in his first game against his former team on Oct. 28, but has two more meetings in 2019-20 to try to get that final triple-double. On Nov. 19, LeBron James became the first player to record a triple-double against all 30 NBA teams; the final team on his list was also Oklahoma City.
On Saturday in Chicago, Russell Westbrook recorded his third triple-double of the season and 82nd of his career after finishing with 12 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists in Oklahoma City’s 101-69 win over the Bulls.
The Chicago Bulls were the final team on the Westbrook triple-double checklist. Westbrook is now the only player in NBA history to record a triple-double against all 29 opposing teams.
To celebrate this accomplishment, we dug into the numbers to give you five fun facts about Westbrook’s run of triple-doubles.
1. Most Victimized Teams
Westbrook has recorded five triple-doubles against three teams - the Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic and Philadelphia 76ers.
The Thunder have been incredibly successful when Westbrook posts a triple-double; in his 82 games with a triple-double Oklahoma City has posted a 69-13 (.841) record. That overall success went hand-in-hand with both the Sixers (5-0) and the Magic (4-1).
However, the Thunder went just 2-3 against the Rockets when Westbrook recorded a triple-double, making Houston the only team to have a winning record against the Thunder while surrendering multiple triple-doubles to Westbrook.
2. Least Victimized Teams
Chicago was the final holdout for Westbrook’s triple-double dominance of the NBA. The Bulls are now one of four teams that surrendered only one triple-double to Westbrook in his career; all four teams play in the Eastern Conference, so they face Westbrook and the Thunder only twice per season as opposed to his more frequent Western Conference opponents.
Charlotte is the only team that the Thunder has not beaten at least once when Westbrook records a triple-double, as the Hornets picked up a 113-101 win over the Thunder last April.
3. Triple-Double Stats
Saturday’s triple-double against Chicago was the 82nd of Westbrook’s career - giving him a full season’s worth of triple-doubles over his nine-plus seasons in the NBA.
His most recent triple-double was a bit of a rarity in that Westbrook only scored 12 points. Westbrook is not one to eek out triple-doubles by posting 10-10-10 against the board. Instead, he is often the team’s leading scorer while also stuffing the rest of the stat sheet.
Here is the average Westbrook triple-double statline:
43.4% field goals
82.4% free throws
4. Highs and Lows
Westbrook’s 12 points on Saturday matched his fewest points ever scored in a triple-double. He has been held below 20 points in only 19 of his 82 career triple-doubles.
Points: 57 (3/29/17 at Orlando)
Rebounds: 19 (2/3/16 vs Orlando)
Assists: 22 (12/17/16 vs Phoenix)
Points: 12 (three times)
Rebounds: 10 (18 times)
Assists: 10 (19 times)
50-point triple-doubles: 3
40-point triple-doubles: 11
30-point triple-doubles: 32
15-rebound triple-doubles: 13
20-assist triple-doubles: 1
15-assist triple-doubles: 18
He has been held to the minimum threshold for rebounds (18 times) and assists (19 times) in less than a quarter of his triple-doubles.
5. Record-Breaking Numbers
Not only has Westbrook racked up a ton of triple-doubles - his 82 ranks fourth all-time behind only Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson and Jason Kidd - he has done so in historic fashion.
Last season he not became the first player since Robertson in 1962 to average a triple-double for an entire season, he also broke Robertson’s record for most triple-doubles in a season with 42 in 81 games played.
His 57-point triple-double performance against Orlando in March of last season is the highest-scoring triple-double in NBA history. The sum of Westbrook’s points (57), rebounds (13) and assists (11) from that game is the highest of any of his 82 triple-doubles
By contrast, Saturday’s triple-double against Chicago had a sum of just 38. The average sum of Westbrook’s triple-doubles is 52.6.
When the Thunder added Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to their roster this past offseason, many believed the dominant statistics and near-nightly triple-doubles that Westbrook posted would be a thing of the past.
So far, the rate of triple-doubles has maintained as he has three in his first six contests - which puts him on pace for 40 or more once again this year. However, with two more elite scorers playing beside him, Westbrook’s need to be the teams leading scorer every night while also filling up the rest of the box score has decreased.
His scoring average (20.8 ppg) is down by nearly 11 points from last season’s MVP run, but his assists (12.2) are up by just under two per game and his rebounds (9.8) are within one of last year’s mark. He could very well average a triple-double again this year, but do so more efficiently. His 47.9 field goal percentage and 39.1 3-point percentage through six games are well above his career-best marks for a season. The sample size is small, but encouraging nonetheless.