Last year

NBA triple doubles

Once upon a time triple doubles used to be rare, now nearly every night someone has accomplished one, notably Westbrook of course and now Simmons. Is it such a big achievement these days and how come they have become commonplace. Westbrook needs 16 rebounds in final game to average one for a year again and no doubt his teammates will let him. Is one of the reasons that teams will now let point guards get rebounds more easily instead of the old days when they would stay out of the paint and look to set up the fastbreak. Of course players need to score to give the assist so can hardly really set that up and scoring 10 points is not the hardest thing in the world.
So are triple doubles overrated?

Topic #43077 | Report this topic

Last year

Increased amount of outside shooting = Longer rebounds for the guards to get.

Much easier with the style of play these days to get triple doubles than in the past.

Doesn't mean that it's less of an accomplishment though.

I'd look more at what the NBA calls an assist as being a bigger problem.

Reply #683297 | Report this post

Last year

Not an NBA follower but others have posted previously that the definition of an assist has changed over time in the NBA, making it easier to get assists.

Reply #683298 | Report this post

Last year

Once upon a time triple doubles used to be rare
Did they? Oscar Robertson averaged 30.8, 12.5 and 11.4 across a season. In 3-4 other seasons, he came close to averaging triple doubles, along with 28-31 PPG.

Simmons rookie year stats are similar to Magic Johnson's. 18/7/7 vs 16/8/8. Completely different era but no outlandish difference.

Why wouldn't his triple doubles be legit? He's 6'10" so rebounds are not beyond him and he's a guard so he has the ball a lot. Watching the games and highlights, you can see how brilliant his passing is.

Scott Skiles had 30 assists in a game. In fact, of all the 25 or more assist games, only one (Rondo) has been since 2000. You have to go past 25 games on the single-game assist leaderboard to get the next ones in this era and even those are 7+ years ago.

The NBA has always been fairly liberal with their assists but I don't think triple doubles are overrated.

Interesting that you pull up Westbrook's rebounding rather than passing - rebounding is comparably unambiguous to assess. He's a strong and athletic guard playing with a defensive centre who boxes out like almost no one else in the modern NBA.

Reply #683303 | Report this post

Melbourne Boy  
Last year

Pretty simple, pace of play, more possessions per game equals more triple doubles.

If the 7 seconds or less Phoenix teams with Steve Nash that pushed the pace at every chance 15 years ago were in the league today, they'd be one of the slowest pace teams. This is mainly because the opponents every game were playing so slow but if you watched those games back in the day and thought it was up and down like a track meet, those games are at snooze pace today.

Reply #683305 | Report this post

Last year

Slightly off topic but blocks have decreased quite a lot in the past 15 years due to more 3s.

Reply #683306 | Report this post

Last year

Pretty simple, pace of play, more possessions per game equals more triple doubles.

Yeah you take NBA stats with a large grain of salt these days. When guys like Devin Booker are having 70 point games you know stats are just about meaningless.

Reply #683322 | Report this post

Last year

Once saw LBJ pass to Kevin Love. KL shot faked his defender, took one dribble to the side and knocked down a 3. LBJ got credited an assist for that. The NBA is a joke when it comes to stats. That is why you won't see Ben Simmons with the same numbers come FIBA play.

Reply #683324 | Report this post

Last year

Yes, my point is they were rare, Oscar did his 50 years ago, since when did they become regular??? Wilt was the only other one to get a few in a season, then it came down to Magic, then Grant Hill and Kidd. Now Westbrook, Harden do it consistently and others on other nights more regularly than in the last 30 years.

Reply #683327 | Report this post

Last year

They're still a notable achievement given that not everyone is getting them.

Reply #683342 | Report this post

Last year

What qualifies as an assist in the NBA is often just as dubious as what qualifies as legal footwork, but still, I agree with Isaac. If it was that easy then everyone would be getting triple doubles, and they aren't. So maybe we've just got a few particularly talented & versatile players at the moment.

Reply #683343 | Report this post

Ariel 86  
Last year

I think the rise in trip-dubs is more about usage and the way people play these days. Probably mostly inspired by James.

10-20 years ago, the people that always had the ball in their hands were scorers (Kobe, Iverson etc), or passers (Nash, Kidd etc).

The current decade has brought with it players of all positions that have all round, almost PG type games, regardless of their other attributes (LeBron, Simmons, KD, Giannis, Harden etc).

I think it's a simple shift from the best players in the league focusing on being all round players that do it all, rather than focusing on scoring. When you have guys that can pretty much play the point, and have the ball in their hands every possession, and play 35mpg, you are gonna start getting more and more triple doubles.

Shift in game style.

Reply #683345 | Report this post

Last year

Ariel is spot on, also looking at how the ISO game has died in the NBA, fast ball movement for open shooters and pick and roll basketball is where its at now. Westbrook gains a lot of his assists playing the P&R game with Adams, as for his rebounds it was mentioned in an earlier post he gets a lot of them left for him to grab and run because Adams boxes out so well.

Reply #683409 | Report this post

Last year

Westbrook's stat line today comes as no surprise.

Reply #683548 | Report this post

Last year

Not everyone is getting them, but there are a hell of a lot who are - well over 30 different players this year including the likes of Greg Monroe!

It's far easier to get a triple double in today's game due to usage rates and how assists are credited - in particular how home team benches credit their players with them (case in point, Lonzo Ball)

Reply #683557 | Report this post


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