Russell Westbrook needs 16 rebounds for triple-double season average

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 9: Russell Westbrook
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 9: Russell Westbrook /

Russell Westbrook helped clinch a playoff berth with a triple-double, and kept open the potential to average the elusive mark in back to back seasons.

When Russell Westbrook averaged a triple-double last season fans and pundits alike were in awe of the accomplishments. Afterall, not since Oscar Robertson pulled off the feat almost a half century earlier had any NBA player come close to the mark.

At the time it was considered by most an essential requirement for the Thunder to win. Sam Presti then went out and added franchise level stars via the Paul George and Carmelo Anthony trades. These moves were expected to remove the workload from Westbrook and hopefully allow the scoring to be shared. And, while that has ‘sometimes’ been true this season, Westbrook is still so essential to all aspects of the Thunder offense.

As Paul George alluded to recently the Thunder and new members are still figuring out how best to function with one another. And perhaps a single season isn’t long enough to figure out the best way to get three players to benefit each other consistently.

Still, Russell Westbrook remains the most lethal force on the Thunder and his triple-doubles are often needed to capture victory.

Big night in South Beach:

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In Miami, the team trailed by 18 points early and it looked like it might be a long night at the office. But, Westbrook rose up to deliver a triple-double performance for the ages. His final stat line read: 23 points, 18 rebounds, and 13 assists.

There is only one game remaining, with Westbrook needing 16 rebounds to notch another triple-double season average. Granted, Westbrook’s 18 rebounds seemed like a rarity. Yet, a dive into the stats  points to the Brodie grabbing double digit rebounds (43) in more than half the games this year. Moreover, he’s pulled down 15 or more rebounds in nine of those games.

I might be inclined to say it’s unlikely he’ll reach this mark for an unprecedented second consecutive season. However, the opposition on Wednesday is the Memphis Grizzlies; a team vying to tank for better lottery odds.

Westbrook was inactive in one game versus Memphis, but in the other two he pulled down 11 and 13 boards.  And, that was at a point in the season the Grizzlies hadn’t conceded to tanking.

Obviously, the priority will be to get the win, but snaring 16 boards isn’t out of the question. Particularly with Steven Adams seeming to need some rest heading into the postseason.

Sitting at 784 total rebounds and having played 79 games that means Westbrook needs 16 rebounds to reach the triple-double average.

By the way the Grizzlies rank 29th in rebounding!  Frankly, I wouldn’t bet against him doing it.