Westbrook has earned the nickname “Mr. Triple Double” as it seems like he’s a lock to post one anytime he plays. But will his triple-double season averages continue with the Houston Rockets?
Russell Westbrook has averaged a triple-double in each of the last 3 seasons so if there is anyone who can keep this streak alive, it would be him. But I’m not exactly sure this will continue. Sure he’s obviously going to ALWAYS score in the double figures, as he’s a career 23 point scorer through 11 seasons. Playing alongside James Harden on the Houston Rockets won’t change this either, as he’s averaged 20 points per game in seasons in which Kevin Durant led the league in scoring and when Paul George was second in scoring.
I also wouldn’t be surprised if Westbrook averages double-digit rebounds for Houston as well, although this may not be as easy with Clint Capela averaging 12.7 rebounds, James Harden grabbing 6.6 rebounds and PJ Tucker averaging 5.8 rebounds. Granted, Brodie still managed to pull down 11.1 rebounds this past season despite Steven Adams‘ 9.5 rebounds, Paul George’s 8.2 rebounds and Jerami Grant averaging 5.2 rebounds. So it’s not quite impossible for Westbrook to get double-digit rebounds for the Rockets.
In my opinion, the assists will be the most difficult for him to average double digits. Granted, he averaged 10.7 assists despite Paul George finishing 2nd to Harden in scoring and he pulled that off despite the Thunder ranking 22nd in 3-point shooting. By comparison, the Rockets shot 10th best in 3-point shooting percentage, so there may be many opportunities for Brodie to kick out to open shooters and facilitate many catch and shoot scenarios.
Another thing many people forget is the fact that Westbrook averaged 10.4 assists per game in the last year he was teamed up with Kevin Durant, in which KD also averaged 28.2 points per game. So there are valid arguments as to how Westbrook could average double-digit assists again.
On the flip side, I just don’t think Westbrook will have the ball in his hands as much as he did in those seasons. I think Westbrook will have a great season and I believe this Westbrook/Harden experiment will work but I think it will be a different style of offense than Westbrook has been a part of, despite the reports of Harden being willing to play off the ball more. The fact of the matter is Harden will have more touches than Paul George and KD did during Westbrook’s double-digit assist seasons.
Granted Westbrook doesn’t have to have a triple-double for the Houston Rockets to win games and even win a championship, but it’ll be interesting to see if this will happen again on this Rockets roster.
*All stats are courtesy of Basketball-Reference*