NBA

Hassan Whiteside Dwight Howard.

The early 2016-17 season double-double leaders

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The NBA season is only 12 games old, in places, but already some superstars are making their mark on the young campaign.

When it comes to influencing a game, there are many ways in which a player can get the job done on the hardwood. Russell Westbrook, James Harden, LeBron James and now, Julius Randle, are the only men to record triple-doubles thus far, but what about double-doubles?

Whether it is a center crashing the boards and scoring points in the paint, or a guard dishing assists and raining threes from deep, there are multiple ways to stuff the stats column. In this young NBA season, here are the three men who are currently leading the double-double standings.

Dwight Howard - 8

The Atlanta Hawks man has appeared rejuvenated by his return to his hometown franchise and the center, who averages a career double-double of 17.8 points and 12.3 rebounds a night, has been flying in the early going.

His career stagnated somewhat in Houston alongside the seemingly incompatible James Harden, and coming off the back of an unsuccessful stint in L.A. with the Lakers, Howard's stock wasn't quite what it was during his formidable Orlando days.

All of Andre Drummond, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love and Harden are sitting on seven double-doubles, but Howard's eight gets him a spot on the podium and he has averaged 14.8 points a game and 12.3 boards this term.

Chicago Bulls v Atlanta Hawks

Considering the Hawks are 8-2, he is obviously having a positive effect on the franchise. The center has nabbed 20 points or more three times so far this season and has been a monster on the glass with 19 against the Wizards and 17 against Cleveland.

Russell Westbrook - 8

Westbrook might top the triple-double standings, but he can only take joint-second place in the double-double rankings.

The point guard has gone some way to proving he does not need Kevin Durant in Oklahoma and the 27-year-old is averaging 32 points, 9.9 assists and 9.7 rebounds during the current campaign.

However, the Thunder have lost their last four games in a row, so questions are beginning to arise as to how effective his one-man tirades really are.

Los Angeles Clippers v Oklahoma City Thunder

He dropped one triple-double and two double-doubles during that run too, but he also had points and assists in the double digits for the opening three games of the season, all of which OKC won.

His ability to influence the game in a variety of ways - including an abnormal penchant for rebounding for a guard - means he will remain in the double-double race all season long.

Hassan Whiteside - 9

The biggest cinderella story in the NBA continues to grow as the Miami Heat center leads the way with nine double-doubles in just 10 outings.

The 27-year-old was only playing in the D-League just over two years ago and was only earning just under $1 million last season.

And now, here he is. The shot-blocking machine is in the first year of a four-year deal worth just a shade under $98.5 million and he finished third in the race for Defensive Player of the Year last season.

Miami Heat v Orlando Magic

This year, Whiteside is averaging 18.2 points and 15.9 boards a game and those averages are way above his career numbers of 12.1 and 10.3 respectively.

With the Heat currently enduring a six-game losing streak and sitting second from bottom in the Eastern Conference, Whiteside will need to find a way to make his numbers translate into wins and fast.

Mind you, if 19 points and 25 rebounds against the Hawks last time out couldn't do it, maybe his teammates need to take a look at themselves.

Topics:
NBA
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division
Western Conference
Miami Heat
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
Dwight Howard
Houston Rockets
Southwest Division
Atlanta Hawks
Russell Westbrook
Hassan Whiteside

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