4 Basic Triple-Double Statistics

Before taking a look of different models of triple-double, we’d like to look at some basic triple-double statistics of Russell Westbrook. First, let’s find out how many games Russ did and did not record a triple-double during his last 3-year span with OKC. Below is a bar graph, followed by some summary statistics of Westbrook’s total number of triple-doubles.

TripDbl Count Prop
No 133 0.5683761
Yes 101 0.4316239

Over the last 3 completed seasons of the 2010s, Russell Westbrook played a total of 234 games, and recorded a triple-double in 43.2% of the games (101/234), which means this statistic occured almost once in every two games Westbrook played.

We’d also like to know what Westbrook’s points, rebounds, and assists averages for each of his 3 triple-double seasons are:

Season AvgPTS AvgAST AvgREB
2016-2017 31.58 10.37 10.67
2017-2018 25.35 10.25 10.05
2018-2019 22.95 10.74 11.05

Russ’ assist and rebound averages are quite consistently across the 3 seasons. Meanwhile, there’s a decrease in points per game after each season, especially a significant 6-point drop-off between 2016-17 and the following season, 2017-18. This decline in Westbrook’s points can be explained by the addition of Paul George to the Thunder roster in the summer of 2017. The season before that, 2016-17, a common theme for every OKC games was a one-man Russell Westbrook show, where Russ dominated the basketball in almost every single possession and thus was a high-volume scorer. Once George arrived, he became Westbrook’s co-star and took over some of Russ’ offensive load, including getting buckets, and as a result, Westbrook’s scoring average went down for each of the next two seasons.

We’re going to continue with the number of triple-double Russ recorded in each season.

## Warning: `data_frame()` is deprecated as of tibble 1.1.0.
## Please use `tibble()` instead.
## This warning is displayed once every 8 hours.
## Call `lifecycle::last_warnings()` to see where this warning was generated.
Season NumTripDbl Games Pct
2016-2017 42 81 51.85
2017-2018 25 80 31.25
2018-2019 34 73 46.58

We see that during the first year without Kevin Durant, Russ recorded a triple-double in more than half of the games (42/81). In 2018-19, though playing a slightly fewer amount of games compared to the previous 2 seasons, almost half of Russ’ games resulted in a stat line of double figures in 3 categories. 2017-18 saw the fewest proportion of Russ’ games with all double digits in points, rebounds, and assists; but despite this, he did manage to average a triple-double for the whole season.

We’re also interested in looking at some notable figures recorded alongside triple-double. Let’s find out how many triple-double games Westbrook had with 30, 40, 50 or more points; 20 or more assists; 0 turnovers; 10 or more turnovers (which is often called “triple-double trouble” in the NBA world); perfect shooting from the field and from the free-throw line; and less than 30 minutes of playing time.

30+ PTS 40+ PTS 50+ PTS 20+ AST 10+ TOV No TOV No FG misses No FT misses < 30min
31 9 3 3 5 0 1 19 6

As shown by the above table, Westbrook had some remarkable performances including multiple triple-double games with more than 30, 40, 50 points, and at least 20 assists, which indicates how great he was during his last 3-year run with OKC. It is also worth noting that Westbrook had at least a turnover in every triple-double game (no 0 TOV games), which is understandable, due to his playing style and high offensive usage rate.

In the next two sections, we’re going to look at the connections between triple-double and some variables of both categorical and numerical types.