Russell Westbrook is most well-known on his court for his triple-doubles. During the 2016-17 season, he was selected as the MVP while playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder while getting 42 triple-doubles, breaking a record set by Oscar Robertson.
A triple-double in an NBA game is difficult to achieve, there's no debate about that. However, just because a player gets a triple-double, doesn't mean that they had a good game. Stan Van Gundy has recently alluded to as much, seemingly taking a shot at Russell Westbrook for his recent performance against the Brooklyn Nets on Christmas.
In the NBA, achieving a “triple double” does not mean a player played well.
During the game against the Brooklyn Nets, Russell Westbrook put up a triple-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists. On the surface that was a great performance, but he only shot 4-20 from the field while tallying 3 turnovers on the game. Some also criticized Russell Westbrook for a late-game gaffe, when he missed a clutch dunk while ignoring a wide-open LeBron James in the corner.
Russell Westbrook's triple-doubles are obviously not easy to get, but at some point, it becomes more about winning in a team setting, rather than individual performances. Notably, Kendrick Perkins once challenged Westbrook to "cut down on the turnovers and win basketball games".
“It’s not about the triple-doubles no more. Can you turn the damn corner and win basketball games. Can you cut down on the turnovers and win basketball games. Can you go out there and lead a team, be the ultimate floor general and win basketball games. When you look at Russ, and you look at CP3 that’s the difference. CP3, he goes out there and he wins basketball games.”
There is no doubt that Russell Westbrook is a talented player. But there have been valid points made by analysts and fans about whether he can be a good fit on the Los Angeles Lakers, and whether he can tone down the turnovers and increase his intensity on the defensive end. Thus far though, things have not gone well for the Lakers in terms of team success since the Westbrook acquisition.
There is still more than half of the season left to play, and there is a slight possibility that the Los Angeles Lakers and Russell Westbrook can turn things around. However, the Lakers are currently on a 5 game losing streak, and time is running out.