Russell Westbrook just became the 5th player in NBA history to have a triple double on Christmas day. Anyone know who has the most?— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 25, 2013
Westbrook staked his claim as the most versatile point guard in the league, registering 14 points, 10 assists and 13 rebounds in just 29 minutes of action. The mercurial star recorded the triple-double in the third quarter and then sat out the fourth quarter in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 123-94 blowout win.
The UCLA product is known for wearing his emotions on his sleeve, but he showed up to the game making his intentions clear with his outfit:
We're not sure if Russell Westbrook is "killin' it" with this outfit, but OKC fans hope he'll kill it on the court. pic.twitter.com/9reoqYeCXj— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) December 25, 2013
The “Killin’ It” beanie was just a prelude of what he was about to unleash on the New York Knicks, as he controlled the game for the Thunder. But it wasn't his best scoring performance.
Westbrook started the game shooting 1-of-7 from the floor, but he made up for his poor shooting by taking care of the basketball (only two turnovers for an assist-to-turnover ratio of 5-to-1), staying aggressive (six of his 15 shot attempts came in the paint) and doing it all for the Thunder.
When he wasn’t attacking, he was setting up his teammates with beautiful assists like this half-court alley-oop to Kevin Durant:
Durant and Serge Ibaka were the primary beneficiaries of Westbrook’s festive generosity, as they combined for 53 points on 67 percent shooting.
Westbrook didn’t stop at just sharing the ball, however.
What truly separates Westbrook from the rest of the NBA’s impressive point guard class is his ability to control the glass. He’s long been regarded as the best rebounding point guard in the league, and he outperformed the combined effort of the Knicks' big men during his time on the floor, per B/R's Dan Favale:
Russell Westbrook has more rebounds (13) than STAT, Chandler, Martin and Bargs. Combined (11). #Knicks.— Dan Favale (@danfavale) December 25, 2013
When Westbrook grabs the rebound, he can take it the length of the floor in a flash and score quick baskets or find his teammates for easy transition buckets—as he demonstrated on a number of occasions against the Knicks.
Westbrook truly did a little bit of everything, as he literally “wiped the floor” with the Knicks to top off his spectacular Christmas Day performance:
Without Carmelo Anthony in action, Westbrook gave the Madison Square Garden crowd a show (although it wasn’t the show Knicks fans were hoping for).
It was one of those performances where Westbrook controlled the game with his all-around play instead of relying on his scoring, and the Thunder are almost unbeatable when he plays like that—as New York found out.
He may not be a “true” point guard in the conventional sense, but few players can stuff the stat sheet and dominate every aspect of the game like Westbrook.