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Rondo is still the playoff triple-double master

Jay May 14, 2014 Look Back, Rajon Rondo 7 Comments

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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
Keep in mind that Rondo had zero triple doubles in his first playoff season (2008) and has not played in a single playoff game since 2012.  Rondo leads them all… still. The league has had two full playoff seasons to catch up, but they still haven’t.  I would have thought LeBron was first on this list, by a lot as well.  The best part is that the Celtics record in those playoff games is 8-2.  One loss was a 121-118 Game 4 loss to the Bulls in 2009 and the other was the Game 7 loss in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals to Miami.
Again, this was just something I was curious about and it’s pretty impressive.  If you think about it, a “Crazy-8″ game isn’t that far off from a triple double, so how many of those does he have? (Note: “Crazy-8″ is simply a game with at least 8 points, rebounds and assists).  Since his playoff debut, he has 20!  The team’s record in those games was a solid 13-7.  Along with the aforementioned losses, these seven losses also include:

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.

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  • NE_Celt

    Rooooondooooooo. When he is feeling it in the playoffs it is something magical to watch…and thanks for looking up these stats, pretty interesting to see how all these other point guards match up in this “category”. Here’s to hoping Rondo gets a chance to add to this stat next year!

  • Mike C

    Keep this post handy Jay. For next season, when some of our fans bring up the “Lets trade Rondo” crap again!

  • forever_green

    Off topic: Heat beat Nets tonight. Watching Ray hit a shot at the end to help them makes me sick, WHERE ARE THE BASKETBALL GODS WHEN YOU NEED THEM, I really can’t stand to watch the Heat win it all again.

  • TJames

    I watched the game tonight… was rooting for the heat to lose. Makes me sick how Lebron gets every call. Somewhere around the 2-4 minute mark Lebron is gaurding Joe Johnson… Joe gets mugged, no call. Other end Joe is on Lebron. Lebron initiates contact into Joe and Joe gets called for the foul. Makes me not even want to watch the NBA anymore.

    • forever_green

      I don’t know if you saw my comment but I feel the same way as you right now about the NBA.

      Nets got robbed tonight.

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  • Brick James

    Sorry to be the debbie downer, but after his completely underwhelming, borderline dismal year – one where he demonstrated flashes of regression in his ability – this stat means nothing to me. Let’s see what he can do without the Big 3 next to him.