Washington Wizards: Russell Westbrook drops triple-double in Wizards debut

Washington Wizards Russell Westbrook. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Russell Westbrook. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

It didn’t take long for Russell Westbrook to live up to the hype as a member of the Washington Wizards. One game, one triple-double.

Before the Washington Wizards took the floor to start the 2020-21 season, it had been 710 days since a Wizards recorded a triple-double. Bradley Beal was the last to do so; 43 points, 10 rebounds, and 15 assists in a 140-138 double-overtime loss to the Toronto Raptors. The last time a Wizard recorded a triple-double in regulation? Tomas Satoransky had 18 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists in a 113-106 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. That was 712 days before the 2020-21 season.

Russell Westbrook only needed three quarters to record the Wizards’ first triple-double of the new campaign. It will be the first of many. In a disappointing 113-107 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, Westbrook finished with 21 points, 11 assists, and 15 rebounds.

The former MVP immediately made his mark as a Wizard. In no time, Westbrook was reigning in rebounds and started hot from the field (3-5). Although he quickly went cold and finished 9-22 from the field, Westbrook’s fingerprints were all over the game from start to finish. When his shot wasn’t falling, he dropped dimes to Thomas Bryant, Ish Smith, and Bradley Beal.

Russell Westbrook became the first Washington Wizards player to record a triple-double in their debut.

A rusty Russell Westbrook did something that no Wizard had ever done in their debut. He did something that no Wizard has done in nearly two years. And it’s going to keep happening.

Westbrook averaged a triple-double each season from 2016 through 2019, his final three seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Last season, in a new (and sometimes frustrating) offense with the Houston Rockets, Westbrook averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 7.0 assists. Even those numbers would be record-setting by Wizards standards. In 2018, Bradley Beal became the first player in franchise history to average 25 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists for an entire season.

If the season opener, and Westbrook’s track record, is any indication, Westbrook will soon join Beal as the second player in franchise history to average those number for an entire season. He’s likely to average much more.

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Westbrook’s gaudy individual numbers don’t always translate to wins as we saw in the opener. But it’s fun to watch him go to work, even in a loss. For the first time in a while, Beal had some help out there that is just as dangerous as he is. When Westbrook arrived in D.C., he said he wanted to help make life easier for Beal. We’re only one game in, but he certainly seems to be doing that so far.