Russell Westbrook has been nothing short of phenomenal for the Oklahoma City Thunder as they sit third in the Western Conference with a 54-24 record, and last night's victory over the Denver Nuggets rubber stamped what an incredible personal campaign it has been for the point guard.
The 27-year-old ended the game at the Pepsi Center with 13 points, 14 rebounds, and 12 assists to notch his 17th triple-double of the season and become only the second player in 30 years to reach the tally.
The last player to hit 17 in one campaign was Los Angeles Lakers great and Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame member Magic Johnson, who recorded the feat twice, in the 1988-89 and 1990-91 seasons respectively.
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Having been named the Western Conference player of the Month earlier in the day, Westbrook showed fans exactly why by stuffing the sheet once again as he recorded his ninth triple-double since the All-Star break.
He had seven in the month of March alone, the most by a single player in a calendar month since Michael Jordan recorded the same amount in 1989.
Westbrook's triple-double against the Nuggets was not one of his best, but it continued his record of getting the job done early. It took the two-time All-Star MVP just 27 minutes and three quarters to reach double-figures in the three categories.
The 2015 scoring champion has notched seven triple-doubles in his career in under 30 minutes, that is more than any other player since the shot clock era began in 1955. Magic has four and Stephen Curry, Larry Bird, and Bob Cousy have three.
As a point guard, Westbrook has made it his aim to play the playmaker role more this season and it was evident again in Colorado as he went after assists early. He gave away five turnovers but his willingness to share the ball with his teammates can only be a good thing heading into the playoffs.
Exactly how far the Thunder can go in the postseason will depend heavily on how Westbrook and Kevin Durant perform for the Northwest Division franchise. With the organisation likely to face either the Golden State Warriors or the San Antonio Spurs, they will need their superstars on top of the game.
Durant has been back to his best throughout the campaign and has scored over 20 points in all but one game this season, where he only played 15 minutes due to a leg injury.
As for Westbrook, well, his averages speak for themselves. 23.7 points and 10.4 assists show the guard is in the form of his life and if he can produce more performances like his 25 points, 19 assists, and 11 rebounds against the L.A. Clippers, the Thunder will be a handful for anyone.