Oscar Robertson RumorsAll NBA Players
But between fans not deeming Westbrook worthy of an All-Star starter spot and the notion that the Houston Rockets’ James Harden is the MVP front-runner, Westbrook’s season seems destined to be underappreciated — at least when it comes to the people who don’t truly understand how hard this is to do. “I admire Westbrook for what he’s doing; he’s just playing outstanding basketball,” Robertson told USA TODAY Sports. “There’s a little comparison (between their special seasons), but not a lot. I think what he’s doing is outstanding, myself, especially with a team that’s been weakened since Kevin Durant left. That makes a big difference. So therefore, he’s taken it upon himself to try to do whatever he can to help his team to win.”
“The way their team is constructed now, they run everything through him, so it affords him that opportunity to really handle the ball more and be the focal point every time down. It probably was the same way with Oscar. I think LeBron, if the circumstances were right, he could do it. But it’s remarkable, to have that combination of skill and talent, and it takes an incredible amount of athleticism … I think it’s an unbelievable achievement.”
Only Kobe Bryant and Oscar Robertson have scored more than 300 points on Christmas in their NBA careers. Cleveland’s LeBron James and Chicago’s Dwyane Wade might join the club Sunday. Wade enters this year’s Christmas Day quintupleheader as the league’s leading active scorer, with 277 points. It’s unlikely he’ll still have that designation when his game starts in San Antonio, given that James and the Cavaliers host Golden State immediately before that matchup — and James enters with 270 points in his Christmas career.
The Thunder point guard is one-tenth of a rebound away from averaging a triple-double on the season. Donovan admitted Monday morning Westbrook could end the season as the second man in NBA history to average a double-digits in points, assists, and rebounds. “Yeah, he could do it. He could do it,” Donovan said. “I’m not gonna say he is or isn’t because I think the more important thing is Russell is winning, but he’s a guy that has great impact on generating assists. He has a great impact on rebounding the basketball, and he can score. So, there’s certainly a possibility that can happen. Obviously what he’s done this point in time has been pretty remarkable.”
Westbrook logged 18 triple-doubles last season, and the Thunder went a perfect 18-0 during those contests. His team has won six of his eight triple-double performances this year. The two losses, to the Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers, were by a combined six points. Does Westbrook have any parlor tricks for racking up these numbers? On at least two occasions last season, he’s checked back into games that were already decided with an eye on picking up a few extra statistics.