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Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Westbrook Clinches Season Triple Double Average With Record-Setting 14-24-21 Stat Line

Russell Westbrook scored 14 points, passed for 24 assists, and grabbed 21 rebounds as his Washington Wizards defeated the Indiana Pacers 154-141. Westbrook tied his single game career highs for both rebounds and assists. He also tied the record for most assists in a triple double performance, a mark originally set by Isiah Thomas in 1985 and subsequently matched by Rajon Rondo (2010) and Westbrook himself (2019). Westbrook's 178 career triple doubles place him just three shy of an Oscar Robertson record that for decades was thought to be unapproachable; no one imagined that anyone might surpass Robertson (the next closest player, Magic Johnson, finished his career with 138 triple doubles). The Wizards had 50 assists versus the Pacers, and they are the first team to have at least 50 assists in a game since 1990. 

Racking up assists and rebounds used to be considered a great thing--and it still is when any player other than Westbrook does it. Teams that run up and down the court piling up points and assists are considered wonderful when led by Steve Nash or Stephen Curry, but somehow someone will figure out a way to devalue Westbrook's 24 assists and his team's 50 assists. 

Every decade has at least one great player who is severely underrated. Julius Erving earned four straight All-NBA First Team selections in the 1980s, in 1981 he became the first non-center to win the NBA regular season MVP since Robertson (1964), and he was an All-NBA First Team performer for arguably the greatest single season team ever (1983 76ers, 12-1 in the playoffs--including a Finals sweep of the Magic Johnson-Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Lakers), but the revisionist history is that the 1980s began with Magic versus Bird and ended with the emergence of Michael Jordan. Erving's ABA years (including three regular season MVPs, two championships, two Finals MVPs, and three scoring titles) are relegated to an Orwellian-memory hole, and his NBA accomplishments are glossed over. 

Then, in the 1990s Scottie Pippen was an All-NBA level performer for six championship teams and--although he was deservedly selected to the NBA's 50 Greatest Players List--both his contributions to those championship teams and his high level of play during other seasons are often diminished and disparaged. 

In the 2000s, Kobe Bryant won five titles while elevating himself closer to Michael Jordan--in style and substance--than any other player since Jordan retired, but "stat gurus" and misinformed/biased media members refused to give Bryant the credit that he deserved

In 2014, I predicted that Westbrook would inherit Bryant's dual role as best guard in the NBA and vastly underrated superstar. Like Erving and Bryant, Westbrook has won one NBA MVP--and, like Erving and Bryant, Westbrook is also subjected to criticism that most MVPs do not receive. That is not to say that Westbrook is as great as Erving or Pippen or Bryant--that is not the subject of this article--but rather just to say that (1) in each decade that I have followed the NBA there has been at least one great player who did not quite get the recognition that he is due, and (2) I enjoy telling the stories of those players with the hope that maybe the false narratives will one day be muted.

The Wizards are just a half game behind the Pacers in the Eastern Conference standings, and they now own the tiebreaker over the Pacers. The teams face each other again on Saturday, their final head to head matchup of this season. No NBA team has been hit harder by COVID-19 and other injuries/health concerns than the Wizards, but now that their squad is healthy--and now that Westbrook is posting huge triple doubles almost every game--they have won 13 of their last 16 games. Westbrook notched a triple double in 13 of those games, and the Wizards went 11-2 in those contests.

If Westbrook plays in all seven of the Wizards' remaining regular season games and posts no points, no rebounds, and no assists in each game he will still average a triple double for this season. Think about that for a moment: in a 72 game season, Westbrook has clinched a triple double average--a feat accomplished by only one other player in pro basketball history--with nearly 10% of the season left. The triple double was not officially tracked when Oscar Robertson set the career record with 181, but we have complete statistical information to confirm that--prior to Westbrook's emergence several years ago as the best all-around guard in the NBA--Robertson was the first player to average a triple double for an entire season (30.8 ppg, 12.5 rpg, 11.4 apg in 1961-62). Robertson also averaged an aggregate triple double over the first five seasons of his career. No other player came close to matching either accomplishment until Westbrook began his run five years ago. Westbrook is the only player who has averaged a triple double in multiple seasons (2017-19, 2021) and he is eight total rebounds short of averaging an aggregate triple double for the past five seasons, so if Westbrook plays all seven remaining games then he needs at least 78 rebounds to tie Robertson's record for maintaining a triple double average for half a decade. 

Westbrook did not make the All-Star team this year. It seems doubtful that he will receive any MVP votes. It will be interesting to see if he gets any All-NBA consideration. 

After the win over Indiana, Washington Coach Scott Brooks did not hesitate to offer his opinion about Westbrook's place in basketball history: 

"Point guards don't do what he does. He's not normal; they're not built that way. There may be someone that probably shoots better. There might be someone that probably can do certain things better. But there's nobody in the history of the game that can do what he does throughout the stat sheet.

I used to always say he's going to probably go down as the third-best point guard ever, but I think he's passed one. He's going to go down as probably the second best, and [No. 1] is obviously Magic [Johnson]. He's underappreciated. What he does, there are no point guards ever done it, nobody."

I am disinclined to select one greatest player of all-time or one greatest point guard of all-time; I have a Pantheon of 14 all-time great players (Westbrook is not in that group), and I have compiled an updated 50 Greatest NBA Players List (Westbrook is in that group). Size--Specifically, Height--Matters in the NBA, which is why there is only one player shorter than 6-4 in my Pantheon (Jerry West), and why there are few players shorter than 6-4 on my 50 Greatest NBA Players List (Bob Cousy, Stephen Curry, Allen Iverson, John Stockton, Isiah Thomas, Jerry West, and Russell Westbrook).

Therefore, I am not quite ready to join Brooks and call Westbrook the second greatest point guard of all-time, but Brooks' larger point--that Westbrook is vastly underrated and underappreciated--is correct.

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posted by David Friedman @ 1:32 AM



At Tuesday, May 04, 2021 4:07:00 PM, Blogger Kyle Falls said...

Excellent coverage on Westbrook as usual.

As far as his ranking in terms of all-time point guards, it gets interesting. In most discussions, Jerry West and Allen Iverson are considered shooting guards. I rank them 3rd and 6th, respectively, in that category. If one were to consider them point guards for the sake of argument however - West should be ranked higher, and Iverson lower than Westbrook.

Magic and Oscar are Pantheon players so their spots at #1 and #2 are a given in either order. Isiah usually sits around 3rd for me. I do not have a strong opinion on whether Curry has surpassed him or not, but I do think he has accomplished enough for it to be considered. I do hold the belief that Curry's game is elevated due to today's rules and I believe Isiah would have a much easier time playing today than Steph would in the 80s. They can be 3rd and 4th in either order.

Given his talent and accomplishments, I have Westbrook around 5th. As an individual player, I believe him to be superior to both Isiah and Curry. I find him to be a better floor raiser. I struggle with ranking him all-time over either due to the lack of a championship. Do I believe he could have won on the Pistons or Warriors? Without question. However, we don't live in a world of ifs.

Westbrook is one of my three favorite players ever so I wouldn't have any beef with anyone ranking him higher. I try to be as unbiased as possible though. I figure Scott Brooks was not considering the Big O when he made his statement.

Cousy is always a tough ranking. I usually use him as a cut-off... Can I consider this guy to be the best non-Pantheon point guard? If yes, rank above Cousy, if no, rank below. The three guys above pass that test for me.

I find it laughable that some people are ranking the likes of John Stockton, Gary Payton, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, and Chris Paul over Westbrook at this point.

At Tuesday, May 04, 2021 7:28:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Thank you.

We agree that Magic and Oscar are 1-2, and that a legitimate conversation can be had about who is 1 and who is 2.

Isiah has to be in the top five for pgs.

Cousy is tough to rank. By accomplishments alone he is easily among the 50 Greatest Players. The skill set and cross-era comparisons are tough, because the 1950s are so different from the 1970s, let alone the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. He was about the same size as Stockton, who had a HoF career spanning the 1980s-2000s, so I reject the increasingly popular notion that Cousy could not be a star today. Cousy would be a star today. Beyond that, it is difficult to say.

I agree with you about taking Westbrook over Stockton, Payton, Kidd, Nash, and Paul. Nash, Payton, and Paul are not even in my top 50, though I can understand why some people may disagree.

At Wednesday, May 05, 2021 1:20:00 AM, Blogger Kyle Falls said...

Where are you in the Curry vs Isiah & Curry vs Westbrook debates? I don't think you've ever explicitly said it, but based on your writings, I've long suspected you consider Westbrook to be the superior player.

Auerbach used to draw a lot of comparisons between Cousy and Stockton back in the 80s and 90s. I remember specifically from watching a couple of interviews and reading articles - he always said he'd take Cousy. Cousy without question belongs in the top 50. He was one of the four players (with Malone, Pettit, and Hondo) to receive a vote from the 1999 Associated Panel you reference for the Pantheon. He used to be a usual suspect in my top 5 with Magic, Oscar, Isiah, and Stockton.

At Wednesday, May 05, 2021 10:54:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...


Westbrook not a top 10 pg all time

There no way he better

Kidd payton stockton nash paul

Kyle falls

See yall look at stats and dont take account era and winning

Kidd would avg 12 to 14 rpg in today and ge prob avg closer to 20 ppg and def avg triple double in a season

The big men played closer to the basket back than and its known russ westbrook ask how many rebounds he has to stat pad triple doubles.

Kidd led a team to 2 nba finals

Gp was a dpoy all nba and 9 time all star that led a team to the finals and made key shots to a ring.

John stockton had million assists

Luka doncic will break all of russell Westbrooks trip double records if he stays healthy

This notion that he better than all time greats who led there teams deep in playoffs is comical

He played with kd Paul George carmelo harden bradley beal

That better than any teammate kidd or Payton had and other all time greats have had

Enjoy russ putting up numbers yall dont have to live in the moment and jump him over other all time greats to elevate russ

Steph curry 3 point shot is more impressive than russ trip double he changed basketball

Nba history and legends are disrespected way too much

At Wednesday, May 05, 2021 9:49:00 PM, Blogger Jordan said...


I'm glad you brought up Payton and Kidd as especially Payton often gets overlooked when consideration for top 10 point guards of all time. That said, you yourself haven't taken into account eras. Sure, Kidd could average more rebounds today, but his and GP's defense would be hurt tremendously by the rules of today. Both dominated during hand-checking and because they were both bigger, stronger, and feistier than most of the other point guards during their era, they were able to physically dominate matchups. In today's NBA? With guys shooting from 30 feet out? Their defense would take a big tumble backwards.

Also, I find it...curious that you tout Kidd over Westbrook, but then fail to mention that Kidd was a terrible shooter for the bulk majority of his career (40% for his career) and had 9 seasons where he shot under 40%. Nine seasons! For all the grief Westbrook gets for his shooting, he's only shot under 40% once, his rookie year. Westbrook may be an inefficent shooter, but his sheer force of will in getting shots up and penetrating into the key, warps the defense and demands attention, whereas Kidd was far far more selective.

I agree that Kidd gets bonus points for reaching the finals twice, but he also played in a significantly watered down east (when he did it as the man), whereas Westbrook spent the majority of his time in the loaded West. Kidd has Westbrook beat in the mental understanding of the game. He also had a way of finessing the officials (and tricking them at times too). Kidd also took much better care of the ball. When people talk about inefficient regarding Westbrook, his turnovers should be a hotter topic than his shooting. Russ has a historically poor assist/turnover ratio. Those points in favor of Kidd aside, nothing else about Kidd's overall game screams better than Westbrook -- stats or accomplishments.

GP is a more interesting argument. Payton could score and distribute. He wasn't a great three point shooter, but he's the only player I saw, that consistently gave Jordan a tough time on the biggest stage no less. Paytons 99-00 season is comparable to Westbrook's MVP season in many ways. Not in terms of sheer output, but in terms of fully controlling all aspects of a team. That said, Payton was nowhere close to as prolific as Westbrook. You can argue against counting stats, but counting stats matter when discussing the best of the best. And Westbrook is nearly at Payton's points total, and is only a season or two away from passing his assist totals as well in four less seasons.

Nash...may have ushered in a new era in the NBA, but it wasn't ALL Nash. It was 33% Nash. 33% D'Antoni. And 33% Shawn Marion. Yes, Marion. Without Marion being able to guard 1-5, without Marion at 6-7 being able to pull down 11+ rebounds a game, and without Marion being able to also hit corner threes at a respectable clip while also being a constant oop threat and a lightning fastbreak option and elite finisher, Seven Seconds or less doesn't happen.

I love Nash. He's tied with Bryant as my favorite player of all time, but he has two MVPs that both have not aged well at all. He never reached the finals (my heart breaks everytime I write this) and he consistently played on teams stacked with talent. His 09 run was his best (imo) as he had the least to work with. But, what did Nash's efficiency get him in the end? Some historical footnotes of 50-40-90 seasons and...regret. Nash has admitted that he wished he shot more. And with volume comes a decrease in efficiency. Nash was also a horrible defender (though, unlike some superstars today, Nash at least tried and was often in the right place at the right time, he just...wasn't athletic enough to stop anybody).

At Wednesday, May 05, 2021 9:55:00 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

Pt. 2

Stockton was amazing for his consistency, his iron man status to show up to all games, his wicked smarts, and his efficiency (though, i think people give him more credit in this area than he actually deserves). But, there is no possible way, even in today's NBA, that Stockton could average 20+ points per game. You may say, that's fine, but not when comparing greats against greats. David consistently talks about full skillsets when making comparisons, and Stockton was not a five-tool player. He lacked the ability to create through his scoring -- which is reason #3 (behind MJ and Pippen) that the Jazz didn't win it all.

You said Luka could do the same thing as Russ if he stays healthy. Well, sure. But, the amazing thing about Russ is that he was able to stay healthy. There's no guarantee that Luka will be able to stay healthy. He's young, but he's already shown a penchant for not putting in the work in the offseason to maintain peak fitness. Russ came into the NBA a demon in the weightroom.

Yes, Russ has played with some fantastic players. But, all of them have been unable to win without help. Harden couldn't win with Paul, Howard, or Russ. So he's teamed up with two other all-stars. KD wasn't able to win it as the man, so he's now on his second super duper team. He needed MVP Curry and two all-stars to get his Finals MVPs. Now, he needs another MVP and all-star to try and get another. George...is not the best example to use. He's inconsistent and soft. Though, he did have his best season playing with Russ. Carmelo Anthony...that's an unfair throw-in as Melo was half a season away from being out of the league for a season when he joined up with Russ. Brad Beal could win the scoring crown with Russ.

There's no disrespecting NBA history when elevating Russ to the top of the point guard mountain.

At Thursday, May 06, 2021 1:05:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


I would take Isiah over Curry. If Isiah played in this era he would average at least 30 ppg/15 apg every season. If Curry played in the 1980s he would not put up the scoring numbers that he puts up in this era.

Westbrook is more physically and statistically dominant than Isiah but Isiah was so clutch throughout his career it is tough to take any pgs other than Magic and Oscar ahead of him. If Westbrook can get at least one ring as an All-NBA caliber player (i.e., not the way that Payton got his ring) then I would be more inclined to put Westbrook ahead of Isiah.

At Thursday, May 06, 2021 1:21:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Just saying that Westbrook is not a top 10 all-time pg and then listing a bunch of names does not prove your point.

Kidd never averaged 10 rpg in a season, so it is more than a bit of a reach to pencil him in for 12-14 rpg in this era.

How is it "known" that Westbrook asks how many rebounds he needs to get a triple double? It would be fascinating to see how you try to prove that--and, even if that is true, so what? Do you think that no other players are aware of their numbers during games? If anyone else could do what Westbrook is doing then he would not be the only player to ever do what he is doing.

Westbrook has an MVP, nine All-NBA selections and nine All-Star selections. His accolades are at least as impressive as Payton's, and Westbrook is still playing at an MVP-level.

Are you sure you want to bring up Payton's "key shots" during Miami's 2006 title run? He scored 5.8 ppg on .422 FG% during the playoffs that season, ranking seventh on the team in playoff scoring. How does riding Shaq and Wade's coattails to a ring have anything to do with Westbrook being the best all-around guard in the NBA? If Westbrook plays well past his prime and picks up a ring as a bench player will that elevate his status to you?

If Doncic breaks Westbrook's records then we can talk about comparing the two players historically.

KD jumps from team to team and throws his teammates under the bus after he leaves. What does that have to do with Westbrook's all-around greatness?

Paul George? Carmelo Anthony? Westbrook was supposed to win a title with the self-proclaimed "Playoff P" or an over the hill Melo? Melo has been a bench player for several years, and he was out of the league until he accepted that.

Harden? Give me a break. You're taking Harden over prime Shawn Kemp? Or Shaq and Kobe? Did you forget that Payton played with prime Shaq and prime Kobe?

I have nothing bad to say about Curry. Curry's three point shooting has nothing to do with Westbrook's all-around greatness. They are the two best pgs of this era.

I agree with you that NBA history and legends are disrespected, so please stop disrespecting Russell Westbrook.

At Thursday, May 06, 2021 1:47:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Basketball IQ is subjective, but Kidd ranks near the top of the list in that category. Westbrook has a high basketball IQ, but not as high as Kidd's. I would take Westbrook over Kidd just because Westbrook is so much more dominant as a scorer and rebounder. Westbrook will take more bad shots than Kidd, and Westbrook will have a few more turnovers, but Westbrook will produce so many points, rebounds, and assists that I can live with the bad; Kidd will produce fewer negatives, but also fewer positives.

I never ranked Payton as highly as some people do. Payton is not in my all-time Top 50, though I understand why some people would rank him that highly.

Nash had three great (but overrated) seasons. Essentially, he was Mark Price, only more durable and the beneficiary of favorable rules changes--and that is no knock against Price, who was a great player for a short time (but not a Top 50 player). Nash is one of 15 players in ABA/NBA history to win at least two regular season MVPs. He and Karl Malone are the only members of that group to not win a championship, with 11 of the other 13 winning at least two titles, and 10 of those 11 winning at least one of their MVPs during a championship season. It was an easy call for me to not include Nash in my all-time Top 50.

At Thursday, May 06, 2021 11:45:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...


Facts isnt disrespect he played wit 5 hall of fame or all nba level players

Kidd payton nash combined played wit like 4

He doesnt elevate his team is the problem and he stat pads in a era where theres no big man and its easiest it ever has been to get a triple double

Chris paul elevated a team not in the playoffs to number 1 seed.

Last year he elevated okc to number 4 seed. Put westbrook on same teams they dont make the playoffs.

Also from a skill set perspective all those pg are also better than russ

His heart and determination is his biggest skill

And his basketball iq not close to kidd stop

U and jordan are too mesmerized by stats that dont lead to winning

And understand Westbrook won like 7 playoff games since kd left

Where kd won 2 titles and it prob will be 3

He can throw who he wants under the bus. Tell westbrook to win something David

Just like lebron this wont age well for u i was always right about lebron winning multiple titles and he won 4

Westbrook as lead guy will never win anything he cant even win a playoff series

I mean triple doubles us his legacy so be it

But he shouldnt be ranked near magic big o or isiah thomas

He simply doesnt win

At Thursday, May 06, 2021 4:18:00 PM, Blogger Jordan said...


KD won 2 titles by joining a team that won 73 games, featured a 2-time MVP, two all-stars, and a former all-star turned sixth man/Finals MVP. Lol. Now he’s joined by another MVP, two all-stars (one of whom you say is better than Westbrook), and a deep roster on the Nets. If anything, using KD weakens your argument. KD has never had to carry a franchise by himself. He has always had an MVP player next to him. Yet, for some reason, the general consensus is he’s a top 3 player. Win something? So, your advice to Westbrook is to snake his way out and onto the Lakers or Clippers? If he wins on a stacked team, his accomplishments suddenly mean something?

Chris Paul joined an up-and-coming Suns team that features a future MVP contender and a slew of extremely talented lottery picks that went 8-0 in the bubble after finally getting healthy. The OKC team was completely different than the one Westbrook left. And, moreso than Paul, was the continued improvement of Shai Gilgeous Alexander, who, we should mention, had OKC doing fairly well this season flying solo before he succumbed to injuries.

Paul is a ceiling raiser. He’s not capable of carrying a team as the number one option. Harden couldn’t win as the lead guy. Nor Paul. Nor Payton. Nor Kidd. Magic and Oscar couldn’t win solo either. Magic played with arguably the greatest center of all time! Lol.

Your argument is filled with straw.

Westbrook doesn’t elevate his team? Tell me who the starting five was on OKC in Westbrook’s MVP season. Once you look it up on basketball reference, you tell me that any of the players you’re elevating over Westbrook could have done more with that?

Tell me who the starting five is on the Wizards currently. Once you look it up, you’re telling me that Chris Paul would have been able to elevate that team in the same way as Westbrook?

I can get behind some of your stances, and reasoning, but to flat out say Russ is not a winner and doesn’t make the teams he’s on better...is just ignorance and or hate.

By the way, every single other player that has played with Russ (aside from KD) would disagree with you on Russ. From Oladipo to Dort to Brad Beal to Paul George have all said that Westbrook elevated them and made them better. The proof is the results. George was a top 3 MVP candidate. KD won his only MVP. Brad Beal is close to leading the league in scoring this year.

At Friday, May 07, 2021 8:41:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Let's clarify the difference between facts, opinions, and evidence-based assertions:

Russell Westbrook has the second most triple doubles all-time, and he is the only player to average a triple double for an entire season more than once. Those are facts.

"Russell Westbrook is a stat padder" is an opinion, unsupported by facts. No matter how many times you repeat it, you have not proven it to be true.

Russell Westbrook has a positive impact on his teammates because several of them have had career-best seasons playing alongside him (Durant's MVP year, Harden had one of his best seasons, PG finished third in MVP voting, Beal may win the scoring title). This is an evidence-based assertion. This is an opinion supported by factual evidence.

Your statements that Westbrook does not elevate a team and that he stat pads are opinions unsupported by facts. Your statement that Westbrook is not as good as various point guards from a skill set perspective is unsupported by facts or statistics. Westbrook is leading the league in assists and he is the top rebounding guard in the NBA, so the facts/statistics suggest that he is the best guard in the NBA in two important skill set areas. The performances of his teammates over the years (mentioned above) support the notion that Westbrook's stats are not empty but that they help his teammates (and, by definition, his team).

Basketball IQ is an intangible, as I already acknowledged. I would argue that a player who is an elite playmaker and rebounder is demonstrating a deep understanding of how to play the game. That is an opinion supported by evidence.

"Westbrook as lead guy will never win anything" is an opinion--and, even if you are right, what does that have to do with Westbrook being the best all-around guard in the NBA?

What specifically do you think that you were right about regarding LeBron? I recall, but have not checked to confirm, that you predicted that LeBron would win more titles than MJ. That prediction has not come true. LeBron has not yet matched Kobe or Duncan, let alone Jordan. My analysis of LeBron was that he was on an "accelerated growth curve" (as stated in the title of an article I wrote about him for NBCSports.com during the 2007 playoffs). In later articles, I noted the skill set and mentality improvements that LeBron needed to make to become a champion. As I predicted, after he made those changes he won titles.

Despite making a lengthy comment, you did not answer my questions regarding your previous comments: "How is it 'known' that Westbrook asks how many rebounds he needs to get a triple double? It would be fascinating to see how you try to prove that--and, even if that is true, so what? Do you think that no other players are aware of their numbers during games? If anyone else could do what Westbrook is doing then he would not be the only player to ever do what he is doing."

Instead of stating (and repeating and repeating and repeating...) opinions unsupported by facts, try to find some facts to support your opinions. If you can't find any, consider that perhaps you should change your opinions to match reality.

At Friday, May 07, 2021 8:44:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


I think that a healthy Durant is a top five player (currently, not all-time) based on his skill set and his proven ability to produce deep in the playoffs, but I also think that he has demonstrated softness by jumping to one super team and then another (and by being overly sensitive on social media). He has the right to go wherever he wants when he is a free agent, but I and others also have the right to think that he made some soft moves. My opinion of his demonstrated softness does not change my opinion of his greatness as a player. Yes, he is insecure, and he demands to be praised, but when he was with GS he was by far the best player on two championship teams.

Paul joined a young Phoenix team that was already maturing and growing, as we saw when they went 8-0 in the bubble. He is having a very good season this year, but he is being overrated (again), as will become evident in the playoffs when he wears down and/or gets hurt and his team does not reach the Finals (and probably does not reach the Conference Finals, though I will wait to see the matchups before I predict that for sure).

You are right that Westbrook is not just a respected teammate but a beloved teammate. Many media members can't stand Westbrook because he has no patience for stupid questions, but Westbrook has not had issues with his coaches or teammates.

At Friday, May 07, 2021 3:24:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...


David i presented facts

He played wit top tier talent as teammates kd paul george Carmelo harden beal and all was in prime but carmelo

Deepite that he never made it out first round but once since kd

Kd played wit top tier teammates and won 2 titles

Im not even asking russ to win a tittle but u cant get out of first round that just bad

Russ on defense at times never faces the defender and his big man get out the way when the ball goes up so he can get the board.

Also almost all his assists are drive and kick the all time great point guards were more versatile with how they got assists

His skill set limited he a 40 percent shooter and misses to many layups around rim at time.

At end of the game scenario he always makes bad plays in tight games in the playoffs.

My point is if he cant win a first round series what does all this mean?

Wit lebron u questioned his mental toughness based on 1 fling finals lost to dallas where he didnt give effort

I never wavered i said he would win multiple titles ten years and obviously he won 4

My thing wit Russ is he will never win a title in his career cause he doesnt contribute to winning at that level.

He a stat stuffer who cant win

Also chris paul and kyrie irving are more mentally tough than russ and hit gw shots in playoff games

Russ is stat padding but not winning

At Friday, May 07, 2021 9:48:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Please re-read what I wrote, and try to understand the difference between facts, opinions, and evidence-based assertions.

You still have not answered my original questions. You ignore my comments, questions, and refutations, and then you just repeat the same opinions not backed by any facts or evidence.

Do you have any proof that most of Westbrook's assists are "drive and kick" or that he has a higher rate of such assists than other playmakers? Even if most of his assists are drive and kick, how does that diminish the value of those assists?

You are just grasping at straws to justify your opinion about Westbrook, but you are not providing any evidence to support your opinion.

Regarding LeBron, I questioned his mental toughness, his free throw shooting, his outside shot, and his reluctance to use his size in the post. I wrote that he needed to address those weaknesses in order to win championships. He addressed those weaknesses, and then he won championships. Didn't you pick LeBron to win 8 or 10 titles? I am almost positive you said that LeBron would win more titles than MJ. So, your prediction about LeBron has not turned out to be accurate: so far, LeBron has won half as many titles as you predicted--and he had to go to multiple stacked teams to win his titles.

Westbrook has actually hit many clutch shots in playoff games. Further, this year he has been the most clutch player in the NBA--and that is a stat, not an opinion: Westbrook has amazing response when asked about his clutch stats. Here is an excerpt from that article: "Russell Westbrook has the highest field goal percentage (57.1%) of any player in clutch situations (min. 50 FGA), which are defined by the final five minutes of regulation and overtime when the game is within five points."

During his MVP season, Westbrook hit several game-winning shots, and he led the NBA in fourth quarter scoring. Fourth quarter scoring is more significant than game-winning shots, because consistently scoring points down the stretch is more important than just hitting a few buzzer beaters.

You are entitled to your OPINION that Westbrook is not a good performer in the clutch, but the evidence refutes your opinion, just as the evidence refutes your other opinions about Westbrook.

At Saturday, May 08, 2021 3:51:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...


David u cant win with westbrook that why he never won anything

I mean in a team sport his biggest accomplishment ever is triple doubles

His coach said he 2nd best pg ever he should be fired for that alone

He not top 10 or close

Mainly cause those other pg

Big o

Won alot more than westbrook

If u and jordan are gonna change the rules and say its stats over winning

Do the same for harden and everyone else

That another issue wit Westbrook fan they hyprocrit

U criticize people and players who put up great stats and lost but go crazy any time westbrook puts up a triple double

I proved westbrook literally doesnt play d and tells his center to get out of way to stat pad

He a poor man allen iverson

Iverson was much better

But both was hard to play wit but individual great players

At Saturday, May 08, 2021 5:51:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Your comment consists entirely of opinions--most of which repeat opinions that you have already expressed--with no supporting facts. The only content other than opinions are your (mis)interpretations of what I wrote and what Jordan wrote.

I am not going to address or debate your repetition of your opinions that are unsupported by facts.

Regarding your list of point guards who--in your opinion--won more than Westbrook, keep in mind that Westbrook's teams have advanced to the NBA Finals once and have reached the Conference Finals four times. He was an All-Star/All-NBA level performer for each of those teams, so he played a major role in that team success (unlike, say, Gary Payton riding along as Shaq and Wade led the Heat to the 2006 championship).

Nash: No Finals appearances, four Conference Finals appearances.

Kidd: One championship, three Finals appearances, three Conference Finals appearances.

Paul: No Finals appearances, one Conference Finals appearance.

Payton: One championship (as a bench player), three Finals appearances (one as a bench player), four Conference Finals appearances (one as a bench player).

Isiah Thomas: Two championships, three Finals appearances, five Conference Finals appearances.

Curry: Three championships (but no Finals MVPs, and clearly the second best player on the last two championship teams), five Finals appearances, five Conference Finals appearances.

Oscar Robertson: One championship, two Finals appearances, three Conference Finals appearances (the Conference Finals round did not exist until 1971; prior to that, Robertson's teams twice played in the Division Finals).

Stockton: Two Finals appearances, five Conference Finals appearances.

The facts are that five of the eight players you listed won at least one championship (but Payton was a bench player on his championship team, Kidd was a role player on his championship team, and Curry never won a Finals MVP). Only Oscar (if you count Division Finals), Isiah, Stockton, and Curry had more Conference Finals appearances (and Stockton was the second best player on those teams). I never ranked Westbrook ahead of Robertson or Isiah.

Oscar Robertson is a Pantheon level player, and Isiah is very close. The other point guards you listed are not on that level, and none of them were the best players on championship teams (Curry's first title is an odd case in which he was the best player during the regular season but not the best player during the Finals).

Westbrook is still an active player, so he can add to his totals; Oscar, Isiah, Stockton, Payton, Kidd, and Nash are retired.

You have yet to explain what any of this has to do with Westbrook's triple doubles, or how any of it contradicts anything that I have written about Westbrook.

If you are not convinced that Westbrook's triple doubles are connected with winning then you should research the won/loss records of his teams during those games.

The dominant championship winning players of the past 10 years or so are LeBron, Durant, Kawhi, and Dirk Nowitzki. I never ranked Westbrook ahead of those guys, though Westbrook deserved his MVP during a season in which those guys either were injured, or did not play up to their usual standards over the course of the entire season while Westbrook set numerous individual records.

When did I "change the rules"? Find a specific article or comment in which I stated that I value stats over winning. You are making that up.

What I have said about Westbrook is that he is on the verge of breaking a record that was once thought to be unbreakable, and that he is the first player whose triple doubles are being devalued. The "changing rules" are being applied against him. The triple double was and is considered a positive stat for every player except for Westbrook.

You did not "prove" anything about Westbrook. You just keep repeating the same opinions.

Please don't waste your time (and mine) repeating the same unsupported opinions. You have already stated your opinion more than once.

At Monday, May 10, 2021 1:09:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...


Russ shoots 30 percent from 3
64 percent from free throw line

40 percent from field

His per is ranked with andre drunmond he inefficient

Also he lost 3 out of 4 years in first and 10 seed this year so the impact not there

He plays hard is his biggest attribute that is a skill

Compared to the pg i named he doesnt impact winning so he clearly not as good as any of them.

That my whole point and u never proved what i said wrong all u said Was russ is a all time great based on stats

But other players like lebron or harden

U base they whole career on how much they won

So u changing the rules for russ Westbrook cause u a fan of him

If lebron or harden never won and had 4 or 5 triple doubles u would harp on them never winning

Im just being consistent

Its about winning not stats

At Tuesday, May 11, 2021 2:49:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Westbrook's shooting percentages are irrelevant to this thread and the other recent Westbrook threads. The point is that Westbrook has tied--and will soon break--a record that has stood for decades. Russell Westbrook gets more triple doubles than anyone, yet his triple doubles are the only triple doubles that are criticized and minimized. Westbrook's teams win the vast majority of the games in which he has triple doubles, so the evidence tends to suggest that his triple doubles contribute to team success.

I think that PER is a nonsense statistic, and I do not use it in my player rankings--but if you like PER, then I am sure you are aware that Westbrook ranks 23rd all-time in career PER. That is actually a reasonable ranking for him (which does not prove that PER is a meaningful statistic overall, though). Thus, based on the statistic you chose, Westbrook is one of the two dozen greatest and most efficient basketball players of all-time! Thank you for agreeing with me about Westbrook's overall status!

It takes a team to win in the playoffs, not just one player. Michael Jordan went 1-9 in his first three playoff series. LeBron did not win a title until he put together a super team, and he is still just 4-6 in the Finals after building three different super teams.

Westbrook is demonstrably a great all-around player. You still have not produced one fact or piece of evidence to contradict my main point.

When did I base my whole evaluation of LeBron or Harden on how much they won? I ranked LeBron in my Pantheon before he won a single title. I have written detailed skill set analyses of Harden, who is an All-Star caliber player but not the all-time great that he is often depicted to be. There is a difference between All-Star, All-NBA, MVP, Top 50, and Pantheon. Harden is an All-Star player who perhaps has had some All-NBA caliber seasons. Westbrook is a Top 50 player all-time. LeBron is a Pantheon member. Championships matter as a tiebreaker among the Pantheon members, but LeBron being greater than Westbrook and Westbrook being greater than Harden can be demonstrated via skill set analysis without even looking at team records, and I have done that analysis in many articles.

The main thing you have been "consistent" about is repeating the same opinions without providing relevant supporting facts.


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