NBA has entered the period of the triple-double, with extra now than ever


It’s the 3-point period within the NBA. The large-salary period. The LeBron James period.

It’s additionally the triple-double period.

If it looks as if triple-doubles are occurring extra typically than ever, that’s as a result of they’re — by an enormous margin. On common, the NBA has seen somebody put up no less than 10 of this, 10 of that and 10 of these in a single out of each seven video games this season.

The speed of them occurring is up 47% over final season, plus represents a staggering improve of practically 700% over how typically they occurred simply 9 years in the past — when there have been 18 in your complete 2011-12 season.

They occur with wonderful regularity now. That doesn’t imply everyone seems to be enthralled.

“I get it. They’re good, spherical numbers and folks get into these issues in sports activities,” New Orleans coach Stan Van Gundy stated. “However I’ve by no means actually been one who thought a complete lot of the entire triple-double factor.”

He’s proper. A few of them don’t appear to have a lot of an influence on the sport.

Then there’s what Russell Westbrook — the triple-double king — did Monday evening.

Westbrook had 35 factors, 14 rebounds and 21 assists to guide Washington to a win. It was solely the third time somebody had that many factors and that many assists in an NBA sport; throw within the rebounds, and Westbrook’s evening was unprecedented.

“He does issues I’ve by no means seen and I’ve been on this league for 30 years,” Washington coach Scott Brooks stated. “He’s a winner.”

If individuals are bored by the triple-double, it could be Westbrook’s fault. He’s been making them seem to be nightly happenings for years.

The explanations for the rise leaguewide in triple-doubles are many, however two of them are clear: the “freedom of motion” emphasis in officiating favors the offensive participant, so which means extra factors and extra assists. So, too, does the elevated tempo of play, which additionally results in extra rebound alternatives. There are about eight extra possessions and eight extra shot makes an attempt per group as in comparison with 9 years in the past, and each possession results in a statistic of some type.

“To me, they’re such arbitrary numbers,” Van Gundy stated. “What, in the event you get 10, 10 and 10 that’s higher than 35, 9 and 9? … There’s an enormous distinction between 15 factors and 35 factors. There’s an enormous distinction between 10 rebounds and 18 rebounds. And there’s an enormous distinction between 10 assists and 17 assists. So, to say a triple-double is a measure of an incredible sport, I don’t know.”

That is the fifth consecutive yr that the NBA has seen gamers gather no less than 100 triple-doubles; Westbrook acquired one other one Tuesday evening for No. 100, and in sport No. 692, that’s the quickest the league has ever gotten to the century mark. Westbrook’s triple-double Tuesday was his league-best seventeenth. Going into Tuesday, Denver’s Nikola Jokic and Brooklyn’s James Harden had 12 apiece, and have been adopted by Dallas’ Luka Doncic with 9.

Put one other method, we’ve seen virtually as many triple-doubles within the final 5 years as within the 15 seasons earlier than that mixed.

Even some gamers appear less-than-impressed by them as of late.

“I might care much less a few triple-double,” Miami’s Jimmy Butler stated after he had one in final season’s NBA Finals. “We play this sport to win.”

Right here’s one other instance of how frequent the triple-double is getting: within the entirety of the 2011-12 season, just one participant — Rajon Rondo, with six — had multiple of them. This season has already seen 14 gamers with a number of triple-doubles, a quantity that can nearly actually develop.

The report for many in a single season is 127. That can seemingly get shattered; the league is on tempo to high 150 for the season. On March 13, 5 gamers had them on the identical day, the primary time that’s occurred in NBA historical past. The 5: Harden, Westbrook, Julius Randle, Domantas Sabonis and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

“It’s not at all times about scoring,” Antetokounmpo stated. “You may manipulate the sport in numerous methods: passing, discovering your teammates, placing them in the best spot.”

TJ McConnell of the Indiana Pacers had a triple-double with steals again on March 3, simply the eleventh of these ever. There have clearly been nights the place a participant is aware of he’s a rebound or an help away from getting a triple-double and may turn out to be singularly targeted on getting that one final stat; that’s not really easy to do with steals, which made McConnell’s one of many extra spectacular shortly.

“I simply let the sport come to me,” McConnell stated.

They simply are available bunches now. From 2009-10 by means of 2013-14, solely Rondo and Andre Iguodala had back-to-back triple-doubles. This season alone, 4 gamers — Westbrook, Harden, Butler and Antetokounmpo — have had streaks of no less than three in a row.

And Westbrook — with 163 and counting, 18 away from Oscar Robertson’s all-time report — is in place to common double-digits in factors, rebounds, and assists for the fourth time within the final 5 seasons.

“He fills a stat sheet like no person does within the historical past of this sport,” Brooks stated.

Sure, the triple-double is now unusual.

However as Westbrook confirmed Monday, they’ll nonetheless be extraordinary.

Take a look at extra on Westbrook and the Wizards

Balanced Hornets assault behind Rozier’s 27, Haywards 26 tops Wizards Three issues to know: Clippers win sixth straight, however ought to they be trusted… Westbrook’s 35 level, 21 help, 14 rebound evening powers Wizards previous…

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