Russell Westbrook: A February to Remember


Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook has just finished off one of the greatest months of basketball in NBA history. He has become only the second player ever to average 30 points, 9 rebounds, and 10 assists per game in a calendar month.  He helped lead the Thunder to one of their best months of basketball this season going 9-3 within February.

Here is a look at Russell Westbrook’s February Game Log:

Joining All-Time Greats

During the 12 games he played in, Westbrook averaged 31.2 PPG, 9.1 RPG, and 10.3 APG in total during the month of February. The “Big O”, Oscar Robertson, is the only other player to ever have a month like Westbrook and average those numbers in a calendar month with at least ten games. Robertson accomplished this feat eight times throughout his career. Just to be mentioned in the same sentence as one of the all-time greats is surely an honor for Westbrook. Westbrook became only the second player ever to achieve what Robertson did.

Westbrook also became the first player since Michael Jordan to have five straight games of 20 points, 10 assists, and 5 rebounds. Westbrook put his name up there with the greats during February. It truly was a historic month.

The Triple-Double Machine

Westbrook ended the month with his third straight triple-double against the Portland Trail Blazers. He finished the month with four triple-doubles. His three straight triple-doubles makes him the first player since LeBron James in 2009 to do so. In the last 20 years, there have only been three other players to achieve this feat, joining LeBron, Jason Kidd, and Grant Hill. Russel’s four triple-doubles during February are more than any other player this entire season.

Westbrook probably would’ve had four straight triple-doubles. In a recent blowout against the Denver Nuggets, he had 21 points, 17 assists (a career-high), and 8 rebounds by the end of the third quarter and didn’t play in the final period. 

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Holding Down the Fort Without Durant

Russell played his best games of the month of February without Kevin Durant in the line-up. Durant was forced to miss seven games because of right foot soreness and he underwent a procedure to replace a screw in his surgically-repaired foot. With Durant out, Westbrook was forced to shoulder the load for the Oklahoma City Thunder. At times, he may have tried to do too much for the team but he still led them to a 9-3 record in the month, highlighted by a seven-game win streak.

During the seven games that KD missed, Russ averaged a triple-double with 31.2 PPG, 10.0 RPG, and 11.3 APG.

Russell also broke two personal records by scoring 48 points in a game against New Orleans in addition to the previously-noted career-high 17 assists against Denver.

Aggressive Efficiency

Many would argue that Westbrook took too many shots in some games (a point Westbrook himself made) or tried to do too much, yet he still finished with a PER (Player Efficiency Rating) of 34.6. That is the highest rating by any player in February. He also has a 37.4 usage rating for that month, which means that Westbrook is using nearly 40% of his team’s possessions via shot attempt, free throw attempt, or turnover while he is on the floor.

That may seem like a very high usage rate and it but Russell is also averaging the highest assist percentage in the NBA at a mark of 51.1 for the month, meaning that he has assisted on over 50% of his teammates baskets while on the floor.

20-10 Games

Westbrook also put together another incredible streak during the month of February by having six straight games of at least 20 points and 10 assists. He became only the second active player to put a streak like that together, the other being Chris Paul back in 2008-2009.

Russell Westbrook has emerged as a legitimate MVP candidate this season, despite having missed a number of games to start the season due to injury. Months like this past one are part of the reason why he’s been able to make up for that missed time and still establish himself as a dominant force.