In a season full of history, Russell Westbrook made a little more Wednesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers, becoming the first player to record a triple-double while going perfect from the floor and the free throw line.
“Just play, honestly,” Westbrook said of his efficient night in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 122-97 win. “Just trying to take my time. [I] watched some film and just trying to pick my spots better. Find ways to get my teammates involved throughout the game. Just happy to win.”
Westbrook shot 6-of-6 from the floor and 6-of-6 from the free throw line, finishing with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists in 28 minutes.
Excerpt used from ESPN.com
Russell Westrbook recorded his 35th triple-double of the season in a 122-97 rout of the Philadelphia 76ers giving the Thunder a 41-30 record with 11 games remaining on the year.
Westbrook has a been a one man wrecking crew all season carrying his team night and night out and still has the Thunder positioned in the 6th seed in the Western Conference.
His current stat line on a per game basis is 31.2 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 10.4 assists. Unheard of numbers!
If Westbrook were to record a triple-double in 7 of the remaining 11 games, he will set the all time single season record with 42. Breaking a record held by Oscar Robertson.
Keep in mind he’s doing this all in only 34.6 minutes per game and his second best offensive threat on his team is Victor Oladipo.
David Zalubowski/Associated Press
The Thunder feature a decent roster. Steven Adams is likely a top 15 center in the league, Enes Kanter is a terrific low post scorer off the bench but does not add much defensively, Andre Roberson is a nice defensive player but is a liability on offense, Doug McDermott and Taj Gibson were added at the deadline to provide more firepower but both have put lesser numbers compared to their days in Chicago.
These are the guys the Thunder throw out there each night to play with Westbrook. All play significant minutes of over 20 minutes per game.
If you compare the Thunders roster to other potential NBA MVP candidates, they stack up as significantly worse.
Compare the Thunder’s roster to the Knicks roster and you can argue the Knicks have as much talent yet the Knicks are 17 games under 500.
Subtract Westbrook from the Thunder and Carmelo Anthony from the Knicks and there is not too much difference in talent.
Yet, here the Thunder are, right in the midst of a playoff push and sitting 1.5 games behind the Clippers for the 5 seed in the West. The same Clippers team that features Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan.
Strong arguments can be made that James Harden and Kawhi Leonard should be MVP and its warranted, they each have had terrific seasons. Westbrook has had a historical season and has taken his game to an unprecedented level following the departure of Kevin Durant to the Warriors.
Westbrook has carried an entire franchise afloat and deserves the appropriate recognition for his play.
Do the right thing NBA and give Westbrook his MVP.
-all statistics taken from basketballreference.com unless otherwise noted.
-Follow me on Twitter, @mikey_ryan11, to continue the discussion.