Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook is only three games into an 82-game NBA season, but even the folks who believed he’d be the ultimate box score stuffer in the wake of Kevin Durant’s departure to Golden State have to be surprised at what they’re seeing so far. Westbrook has led the Thunder to a 3-0 start – admittedly against a pretty light schedule --- but it’s his individual statistics that are eye-popping. Three games do not make a season, but here are our favorite five Westbrook stats so far:
He’s averaging a triple-double
And it’s not a cheap one -- 38.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and 11.7 assists isn’t just clearing the bar, it’s pole vaulting a few feet over the top of it. The last NBA player – the only NBA player – to average a triple-double over the course of the season was Oscar Robertson (30.8/12.5/11.4) in 1961-62. Don’t bet against Westbrook joining the Big O.
He’s a 100-30-30 guy
Westbrook is the first player in NBA history with at least 100 points, 30 rebounds and 30 assists through three games. In fact, he’s at 116, 37 and 35. Magic Johnson, Jerry Lucas and Robertson are the only other players in NBA history with two triple-doubles in the first three games of a season.
He’s already taken 44 shots in one game
Since Kobe Bryant revolutionized chucking when he came into the league in 1996-97, he holds six of the top nine spots for most field goals attempted in a game – topped by his 50 shots in his NBA farewell last April. Westbrook is sure to rewrite that list this season, having already taken 44 shots in his second game. That tops his personal record of 43 in a game back in April 2015 and is certainly the start of what will be one of one of the all-time green-light seasons in NBA history.
When he triple-doubles the Thunder win
When Westbrook gets his, it’s not at the Thunder’s expense. His Sunday night triple-double against the Lakers ran Oklahoma City’s win streak during games in which Westbrook has reached a triple-double to 20 games.
He leads the league in scoring and assists
His 38.7 points and 11.7 assists per game are tops in the league in two categories that are anything but hand-in-hand. It's tough to score and help others score at the same time. Nate “Tiny” Archibald (34.0 points, 11.4 assists in 1972-73) is the only player in NBA history to do that over the course of a season. Again, don’t count Westbrook out.