Dec 21, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) is defended by New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) during the first quarter of a game at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
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Russell Westbrook, the most prolific scorer in FanDuel NBA league play this season, is on the verge of joining Oscar Robertson and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players to submit 30 triple-doubles in a single season.
Even the best possible projections in FanDuel NBA leagues couldn’t fathom just how exceptional Russell Westbrook would be for Oklahoma City.
Through 59 games, Westbrook has carried the Thunder to a 34-25 record, the seventh-best in the league, while leading the league in scoring.
Westbrook is averaging 31 points, 10.6 rebounds and 10.3 assists per game and submitted his 29th triple-double of the year Sunday night against New Orleans.
The 28-year-old poured in 21 points in the fourth quarter, the most he has ever posted in the final period of a game, even christening DeMarcus Cousins with a posterizing dunk.
Westbrook is leading the league in clutch-time scoring, averaging 5.9 points per game during the final five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime sessions contests with a five-point scoring margin.
The team becomes one of the most dominant fourth-quarter squads when propelled by Westbrook in late game situations, posting an offensive rating of 117.2 and a defensive rating of 86.7.
The net rating of 30.4 points per 100 possessions is the widest disparity among starting players in the league.
Oklahoma City’s net rating in clutch time situations is the highest in the league, compared to its net rating of minus-8.3 a year ago, with Kevin Durant still on the team, the 24th-highest rating in the league.
The triple-double Sunday night was his 29th of the season, the third-highest total ever submitted in league history. Only Oscar Robertson (41 triple-doubles) and Wilt Chamberlain (31 triple-doubles) have ever logged more.
Oklahoma City is nearly untouchable when Westbrook submits a triple-double, posting a 23-6 record while its point guard averages 30.8 points, 12.9 rebounds and 12.8 assists in those 29 games.
For the first time since Robertson in 1961-62, it is more likely than not a player finish the season averaging a triple-double.
According to the ledge @kpelton, Russell Westbrook has an 81 percent chance now to reach the end of the season averaging a triple-double.
Tuesday’s opponent, much like the rest of the league, has experienced little success in slowing down Westbrook. Utah has surrendered averages of 32.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game to the six-time All-Star in two previous meetings this season.
Each night Westbrook is an explosive roster option in FanDuel NBA tournament play, but with the Thunder just ½ game behind Memphis for sixth place in the Western Conference, he could be in line for his fourth straight fantasy point performance of 60 or more.
Jazz guard Dante Exum wasn’t the only opponent victimized by John Wall during his latest torrid stretch. Wall found a different way to slash past his defender, using a behind the back crossover dribble to create separation and an open path for an easy layup. The All-Star guard has posted a double-double in 11 consecutive games, totaling 22.5 points, 13.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game during the run and for the year, has produced the ninth most points in FanDuel NBA tournament play.
By moving Lou Williams prior to the trade deadline, the Lakers have provided D’Angelo Russell a much heavier workload. The sophomore point guard has responded by generating an average of 35.4 FanDuel NBA tournament points per game over his last three contests. Russell has given Los Angeles a steady scoring punch, pouring in 22.7 points a night during the three-game stretch, with 4.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2.3 made shots from 3-point range and 1.7 steals per game. Russell can significantly boost his value as a FanDuel NBA prospect if he manages to cut down his penchant for turning the ball over.
Jan 18, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard forward Nicolas Batum (5) drives into the paint as he is defended by Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum (3) during the first half of the game at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago fell one Dwyane Wade rebound shy of submitting a triple-double Saturday night against the Cavaliers. Bulls teammate Jimmy Butler finished with18 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, while Wade added 20 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. Butler and Wade nearly became the first teammates since the Nets Vince Carter and Jason Kidd simultaneously submitted triple-doubles during a win over Washington in April, 2007. Cristiano Felicio literally prevented the accomplishment, stealing a rebound away from Wade in the final seconds, claiming he didn’t want him to be great.
Nicolas Batum left the Staples Center with a pair of season-high performances, totaling 31 points and connecting eight times from 3-point range, but his efforts weren’t enough to secure a win over the Clippers. Batum snapped a four game stretch of shooting below 50 percent from the field by connecting on 9-of-18 shot attempts, including 8-of-13 from beyond the arc. The uptick in scoring makes Batum a nice FanDuel NBA roster addition, as he is posting 7.0 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game this season.
Dec 19, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler (21) looks to pass while Detroit Pistons forward Tobias Harris (34) guards during the first half of the game at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
In his sixth season with the Bulls, All-Star forward Jimmy Butler has mastered the art of drawing contact while attempting a shot. Butler has converted a shot, while roping his defender into a foul on 35 occasions this seaosn, while completing 30 traditional three-point plays, the 10th highest total in the league. Each night, Butler is earning 9.4 trips to the free throw line, fourth most in the league, helping propel his scoring average to a career-best 24.3 points per game this seaosn.
Phoenix is determined to figure out if the scoring binge submitted by T.J. Warren at the beginning of the season was an aberration, or if he is a truly impactful offensive weapon. Prior to suffering a concussion against Indiana that kept him out 18 games, Warren was posting 19 points a night on 45.8 percent shooting from the field. Warren struggled to replicate those numbers upon his return, but to provide him more minutes, the Suns shipped P.J. Tucker to Toronto. The 6-foot-8 forward has spent over 35 mintes on the floor in each of the past two games, resulting in averages of 20 points, 6.5 rebounds,1.5 assits and 1.5 steals per game.
Dec 10, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph (50) handles the ball against Golden State Warriors forward David West (3) during the game at FedExForum. Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Golden State Warriors 110-89. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
Perhaps the increased workload has began to take its toll on Denver forward Nikola Jokic. The 6-foot-10 player out of Serbia has totaled just 16 points over his last three games, but has still managed to be a solid FanDuel NBA contributor. Jokic has supplemented his decline in scoring by posting 8.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.0 block and 1.0 steals per game during the three game stretch. The Nuggets forward insists he isn’t fatigued and expects to submit the lofty totals that sent his value in FanDuel NBA leagues skyrocketing last month again soon.
Memphis completed a season sweep of the Nuggets as Zach Randolph totaled 20 points and 11 rebounds off the bench Sunday night. The double-double was the 15th of the seaosn for Randolph and he converted 50 percent of his attempts from the field for the 23rd time this year. Randolph could be named Sixth Man of the Year for his efforts, as he is averaging 14.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game and has spent time at each front court position this year for the Grizzlies.
Jan 28, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) dunks the ball over Miami Heat forward Luke Babbitt (5) during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Believe it or not, at 42.4 percent from the free throw line Pistons center Andre Drummond is on pace to set a career-high. A career 38.6 percent free throw shooter, the value of Drummond in FanDuel NBA tournament play is his knack for collecting double-doubles. Teh 6-foot-11 center ranks fifth in the NBA with 39 double-doubles and Drummond has pulled down 10 or more rebounds in eight consecutive games, with five 15 rebound performances during the run.
The transition from Denver to Portland has been nearly seamless for center Jusuf Nurkic, aside from a fluke injury. Midway through the fourth quarter Sunday night against Toronto, Nurkic had two of his teeth knocked out while contesting P.J. Tucker for a rebound. The dental work has already been performed and he is expected continue to produce for his new team. Since being acquired by the Trail Blazers for Mason Plumlee, Nurkic has produced 28.2 FanDuel NBA tournament points per game, posting averages of 11 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.0 blocks per game.
PG Russell Westbrook ($12,000) PG D’Angelo Russell ($6,400) SG Nicolas Batum ($7,500) SG Bradley Beal ($7,000) SF T.J. Warren ($5,300) SF Wilson Chandler ($6,600) PF Nikola Mirotic ($4,400) PF Enes Kanter ($5,500) C Jusuf Nurkic ($5,300)