Skip to main content

Triple doubles might be misleading, but they translate to wins

LeBron James-Russell Westbrook-Larry Bird-Magic Johnson

LeBron James-Russell Westbrook-Larry Bird-Magic Johnson

“In the NBA, achieving a triple-double does not mean a player played well," Stan Van Gundy tweeted after Russell Westbrook had 13 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists in the Lakers' Christmas Day loss to the Nets. And while he might be right, a star player racking one up usually induces a different result.

Triple doubles translate to wins

According to StatMuse, Westbrook's teams are 140-50 (73.7% win rate) when he records a triple-double -- he's averaging 24.6 points, 12.8 rebounds, and 12.9 assists on 43% from the floor in those games.

Although seen as empty stats, devalued for their frequency, triple-doubles obviously translate to wins. And not just in Russ' case. Here's how teams do when each of the greatest all-around performers reaches double-digit marks in three different statistical categories in a single game.

NAME

W-L RECORD

WIN RATE (%)

LeBron James

77-24

76.4

Oscar Robertson

131-50

72.4

Nikola Jokic

49-14

77.8

Rajon Rondo

21-11

65.6

Magic Johnson

108-30

78.3

Larry Bird

50-9

84.7

Luka Doncic

23-15

60.5

Draymond Green

30-1

96.8

Jason Kidd

76-31

71

James Harden

52-11

82.5

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Source: StatMuse

Westbrook's season is an anomaly

Take that for data! But as always, keep things in context. Getting a triple-double doesn't necessarily mean a player has played well -- the game of basketball is much more nuanced than that. But assuming it's done within the flow of the game, as its by-product and not someone's priority, star player racking one up is obviously beneficial for a team.

However, unlike everyone else on the list, Westbrook is the only guy who gets criticized for it -- Karl-Anthony Towns is the latest to do it, calling the Lakers' point guard "a stat chaser." But this year, the criticism might be fair.

Westbrook is tied with Nikola Jokic and Dejounte Murray for the most triple-doubles this season with six. The Lakers, however, have only won two of those games. The game of basketball, as well as the Lakers' issues, are much more stratified than that. But compared to the entirety of Russ' run in the NBA and how his all-around performances usually affect the team's success, this is an anomaly.

Westbrook has already called out the fans for their unrealistic expectations, once again basing the quality of his play on stats. And no matter what the eye test says, that tends to be true -- a 73.7% win rate in games he gets a triple-double proves it. But not this year.

draymond-green-weeding-min

Draymond Green had a huge blunt station at his wedding

No wonder LeBron, Curry, Tatum, and numerous other NBA stars had such a great time at Draymond's wedding.

skip-bayless-lebron-james-bronny-james-min

Skip Bayless takes a dig at Bronny James' monster dunk: "Your dad would have done it better!"

It seems like Skip is planting seeds to hate on the next generation of LeBron James and his family.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Channing Frye

“Everyone loves this conversation, but stop it, because the things that you judge it by is never the same.” — Channing Frye hates the GOAT debate

Frye explains why Shaquille O'Neal's percieved value has depreciated over time because of the GOAT conversation.

Michigan State Spartans center Anthony Ianni and forward Draymond Green

Why ex-teammate Anthony Ianni calls his friendship with Draymond Green a blessing in disguise

A great story explaining why Draymond is beloved by teammates, despite his abrasive character.

Golden State Warriors head coach Keith Smart instructs point guard Stephen Curry

“He didn't believe that much in Steph and would bench him a lot” — Jeremy Lin opens up about the rocky relationship between Steph Curry and his former coach Keith Smart

During Steph's second year in the league, he was often yelled at, benched during the 4th quarter, and reprimanded by his former coach, Keith Smart.

Paul Westhead, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the Lakers

“When you try to reign in a 22-year-old elite athlete from pushing himself to be his best, you’re going to get conflict.” — Kareem weighs in on the Magic vs. Westhead issue

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar walked down memory lane and shared his take on the issue between Magic Johnson and Paul Westhead back in the day.