Russell Westbrook Becomes 1st Player to Average Triple-Double 3 Straight Seasons

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Russell Westbrook Becomes 1st Player to Average Triple-Double 3 Straight Seasons
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) gestures to the crowd in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Tuesday, April 2, 2019, in Oklahoma City. Westbrook became just the second player in NBA history to have 20 points, 20 rebounds and 20 assists in a game as the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 119-103. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook is the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double in three straight seasons.

Westbrook needed just three assists entering Friday’s game to hit the mark. He got there midway through the first quarter against the Detroit Pistons.

Westbrook’s critics have focused on what he’s not doing instead of what he can do.

Certainly, his shooting numbers leave a lot to be desired. The 2016-17 NBA MVP is tied for 24th among qualified point guards with a 42.6 field-goal percentage. His three-point percentage (28.6) is the second-worst out of 187 qualified players.

But considering there have been four seasons in NBA history where a player has averaged a triple-double, and Westbrook has three of them in three consecutive years, his accomplishment is very much worth celebrating.

With Paul George‘s struggles down the stretch following a shoulder injury, Westbrook has had to move back into the alpha role for the Thunder as they jockey for playoff positioning.

Westbrook entered Friday leading the NBA with 10.5 assists per game and also averaging 23.0 points and 11.1 rebounds.

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