Following their statement win over the Indiana Pacers, the Washington Wizards have done what most people thought was impossible at the beginning of the NBA season. After putting together an impressive run, they're now in a position to make the play-in tournament.
And, while the Wizards clearly are Bradley Beal's team, it seems like the biggest reason why they now have a chance to make the playoffs is because of how impressive, good, and dominant Russell Westbrook has been.
Westbrook has now secured to average a triple-double for a full season for the fourth time on his career, one of the craziest records you could ever think of and one that's unlikely to ever be topped.
He took just 8 shots last night to finish with 14 points, 21 rebounds, and 24 assists (the last two are career highs), becoming the first player to record a 21+ board/24+ dime game in NBA history. Moreover, it was just the third time a player grabbed 20+ rebounds and handed out 20+ assists. Who did it first? Well, Wilt Chamberlain... and Russell Westbrook.
Scott Brooks Says Russell Westbrook Will Go Down As The 2nd Best Point Guard Ever
So, after watching such an impressive performance by his starting point guard, Wizards coach Scott Brooks made the boldest claim about him, stating that he'll go down as the second-best point guard in NBA history:
“I used to always say he’s going to probably go down as the third-best point guard ever, but I think he’s passed one and he’s going to go down as probably the second-best. One is obviously Magic [Johnson]. What he does, there’s no point guard that has ever done it. Nobody. Nobody,” coach Brooks told NBC Washington.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to see him for eight years do a lot of things that are pretty much superhuman at times. Point guards don’t do what he does. They aren’t built that way. There might be some that shoot better, there might be some that probably can do certain things better. But there’s nobody in the history of the game that can do what he does throughout the stat sheet. That guy is as high as level of a player this league has ever seen," he concluded.
Brooks clearly holds Westbrook in a high standard after coaching him in the Oklahoma City Thunder as well, and there's no doubt that Russ is the most athletic point guard ever - and one of the most gifted athletes in NBA history - but that's a bit of a stretch.
Then again, even if 'Brodie' isn't the second-best point guard to ever lace them up, we should still give him his flowers. Averaging a triple-double for a full season isn't as easy as it sounds and we shouldn't normalize it, even if it's just another day at the office for him.