Russell Westbrook has been on a triple-double tear since the All-Star break
The Washington Wizards have been a bit of a roller coaster this season, but one constant has been the production of their superstar backcourt of Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal. The former, in particular, has been putting up video-game-like numbers across the board.
In the Wizards' 119-107 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night, Westbrook recorded 13 points, 17 assists and 11 rebounds -- his 10th triple-double in the last 11 games. By doing so against the franchise that drafted him, Westbrook also became the first player in NBA history to record multiple triple-doubles against every team in the league.
Though Westbrook did not have the greatest night from the field (5-for-18), his unselfishness and impact on the floor led to a plus-12 on the floor. His plus-minuses in general as of late have been overwhelmingly positive, and he's been integral to Washington's five-game winning streak, no matter the way he's contributed. It's mostly been via his knack for passing, as he took over the NBA lead in assists per game (10.9) from James Harden.
To that point, post-All-Star break, Westbrook has a whopping 282 dimes in 23 games played. The next closest players are Chris Paul and Nikola Jokic with 192 apiece.
Westbrook's ability to get to the free-throw line and crash the boards have been outstanding as well. Since the break, only De'Aaron Fox and Zion Williamson have gotten to the charity stripe more, while Jonas Valanciunas and Rudy Gobert are the only two who have nabbed more rebounds. With these ridiculous numbers, it's no wonder why Westbrook tops the league in double-doubles (22) and triple-doubles (16) during this span.
Last night, he also became the fifth active NBA player to reach 21,500 career points, joining LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and James Harden.
Despite the stat-sheet stuffing prowess of the former MVP, it's the intensity and drive he's consistently putting on display that makes this run all the more special -- and that doesn't show up in the box score.
In clutch-time minutes post-All-Star break, Westbrook has scored 60 points, making 62.9% of his attempts in situations defined as five minutes or less when the team is leading or trailing by five points. Only Ja Morant has more field goal tries (45), and Westbrook is in the company of Willamson, RJ Barrett, Trae Young and Nikola Jokic when it comes to his clutch field goal percentage.
Beal is rightfully the half of the Wizards' backcourt that gets the most attention for his sensational ability to put the ball in the bucket at any given moment, but Westbrook deserves some love too. All of a sudden at 24-33, Washington is tied with the Chicago Bulls for the No. 10 seed, and is making a strong push to participate in the Eastern Conference's play-in tournament.
The seemingly ageless Westbrook is a big reason why.