Watching how fantastic the 2014 NBA playoffs have been without the Celtics participation had me a bit green with envy. It will be great once they’re back in, but it also got me thinking of how amazing it was watching Rajon Rondo step up his game when the lights were shining the brightest. Last week, when I saw Russell Westbrook’s debatable triple-double it got me wondering where he was on the list of current playoff leaders in that category.
Just to be clear, I don’t think it’s the end-all, be-all stat, but I do think that it can show how a single player can greatly impact a game. Sure, guys can chase them but that usually happens when it’s closer to the end of completing the triple-double. Larry Bird got several of them but always did it within the context of the game, as did Magic Johnson. For the most part, Rondo’s are the same, especially in the playoffs. (EASY, I’m nowhere near suggesting he’s even close to the same caliber player of those two).
With that being said, here is the list of playoff triple-double leaders since Rondo made his playoff debut in 2008:
- Rondo – 10
- LeBron – 9
- Westbrook – 4
- Chris Paul – 2
- Game 7 loss to the LA Lakers in 2010
- Career high 44 points in the Game 2 OT loss vs Miami in the 2012 ECF
- Game 6 3OT loss by one point to Chicago
So where does he rank compared to the rest of the NBA’s “Crazy-8” games from 2008-2014? Second only to the best player in the NBA:
- LeBron – 24
- Rondo – 20
- Westbrook – 9
- Kobe – 4
- Pau Gasol – 4
- Chris Paul – 4
- Andre Iguodala – 3
- Derrick Rose – 2
- Dwyane Wade – 2
Considering he hasn’t played in a playoff game in two years, being second on this list (by far) is really impressive. Most people would likely choose his masterful Game 4 performance vs Cleveland in 2010 as his best triple double, by my personal favorite is the Game 2 gem in the 2010 Finals at LA. What does all this mean? UGH I miss Playoff Rondo! Carry on, NBA playoffs… carry on.