During Tuesday night's dominant 110-91 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, Russell Westbrook finished one assist shy of his fourth triple-double of the season. In 27 minutes he registered 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. At least that's what everyone thought.
Russell Westbrook has been credited with an assist on the lob dunk to Steven Adams against Milwaukee on Tuesday, per the NBA.— Brett Dawson (@BDawsonWrites) November 2, 2017
With that assist being counted, Westbrook now has four triple-doubles. He's also just shy of averaging one for the season as he sits at 19.6 points, 11.8 assists and 9.9 rebounds. His early averages actually put him ahead of his pace from last season when he set the single-season record with 42 triple-doubles and became the second player after Oscar Robertson to average one for a season.
He's averaging two more assists and one-and-a-half more rebound per game this campaign than he was at the same point of last season. Through the first seven games of 2016-17, Westbrook had two triple-doubles and was averaging 30.4 points, 9.8 assists and 8.4 rebounds.
Obviously, his scoring was much higher last season, but with the additions the Thunder made this summer, he isn't expected to score as much. And besides, you don't need to score 30 points to average a triple-double; you just need to be in double figures. And even with Carmelo Anthony and Paul George in town, that was never in doubt for Westbrook.
Getting enough assists and rebounds is always the trickiest part of averaging a triple-double, and it's pretty crazy to think that Westbrook is actually ahead of last season's pace in those categories. Most everyone assumed he wouldn't average a triple-double again this season because, for one, it's an incredibly hard thing to do, and two, the Thunder added enough firepower that it just wouldn't be necessary.
However, after watching the first handful of games in the new-look Thunder's season, Westbrook just might pull off the impossible for a second season in a row.