The Triple Double King
Writer: Zarvea McArthur
It’s both the end of the regular season and the end of an era in the NBA: two NBA greats, Dwayne Wade and Dirk Nowitzki, have announced that they are going into retirement.
Wade, a personal favorite NBA player of mine, is a 3x NBA champion, 13x All-Star who averaged 22/5/5 including an amazing 34/8/4 stat line in the ‘06 championship series. He left his mark by posting a triple double on his last game out.
But that’s the thing I wanted to talk about: triple doubles. Once again, Russell Westbrook averaged a triple double for the third year in a row, but t’s not getting national attention like it did the first time he achieved this feat. There is only one other player in the history of the NBA that averaged a triple double for a year - Oscar Robertson - and he only did it once while Westbrook has done it for three consecutive years.
With players like Giannis and Harden taking the league by storm and being talked about on a nightly basis, Westbrook has been quietly putting up numbers similar to his MVP season while shooting a slightly worse FG percentage than the previous year (45% to 43%) but shooting a consistent 30% from 3.
Now the question remains: will Westbrook, with all of the controversy that surrounds him about being able to help his teammates improve, be able to propel his team into a true playoff contention and out of the first round against Portland? Also, has the team improved with him leading the group? He has Paul George who is in the MVP discussion, Jerami Grant who is in the running for Most Improved Player, and Steven Adams, who continues to dominate on the offensive glass.
Can this team go up against the juggernaut that is a fully powered Golden State in a seven game series if the time comes? Honestly, I think not, but they do have what it takes to give them a run for their money, and they should be able to make it out of the first round. The post-season started today and we are in for an exciting one.