Tag: triple-double

Minnesota Timberwolves v Washington Wizards

JaVale McGee does not care what you think of his triple-double


JaVale McGee got his first career triple-double against the Bulls Tuesday night — 12 rebounds, 12 blocked shots and 11 points.

And he has taken heat for it. He got there because the Wizards — down 18 points on their way to a big loss — left their starting center in and ran 3 minutes of plays for him to get him the final two points needed to reach the milestone. He got it with a dunk with 18 seconds left — then picked up a technical for hanging on the rim in celebration.

Analyst Kevin McHale called it “terrible” on NBATV right after the game ended. Others called him out, including Zach Lowe at The Point Forward at Sports Illustrated (and the Wizards get it there, too).

McGee doesn’t care what you think, as he told the Washington Post.

“I got a triple-double,” McGee said. “Who can say they got a triple-double? I’m not really worried about it.”

McGee said, if anything, he was upset that some tried to discredit his accomplishment by comparing it to other failed triple-double quests — such as the one eight years ago by Ricky Davis, who was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers when he attempted to rebound his own miss on his basket in order to get a triple-double in a win against Utah. Davis finished with 26 points, 12 assists, and 9 rebounds.

“I couldn’t understand how they was saying it was like Ricky Davis,” McGee said. “The thing about it is, I wasn’t trying to get a triple-double until they started running plays for me at the end. So, that’s totally different.”

It’s not different in intent. A triple double that comes out of the flow of a game is one thing, what we as fans don’t like is guys chasing stats at the expense of team. And when McGee is getting isolations 20 feet from the hoop, you can bet the Wizards are breaking the flow of their offense and the game to get the stats.

McGee got the 12 blocks in the flow of the game (he was going after everything, allowing Chicago to dominate on the offensive glass, but at least it was in the flow). But the points were chased. And that just feels cheap.

Is a triple-double worth running it up? The Ibaka-Hawks conundrum

Indiana Pacers v Atlanta Hawks

New Year’s Eve, the Thunder managed a solid win against the Hawks, and were up 101-92 with less than 24 seconds remaining. Game over, baby. Except that Russell Westbrook was one assist shy of a triple-double. Serge Ibaka leaked out in transition, caught an outlet, and dunked it home, making it 103-92. Okay, Ibaka was just playing hard. Except the clock was off. The Thunder could have just dribbled out the possession, game over, no biggie. Instead the Thunder went stat hounding and wound up ticking off the Hawks.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

“That’s a sign of disrespect,” Smith said. “Everybody in the whole league knows that you don’t do nothing like that. We remember something like that.”

Smith had a conversation with Durant about the play.

“He said he was going to handle it because he knew that wasn’t right,” Smith said.

via Johnson’s shooting slows Hawks’ offense  | ajc.com.

First, let’s take a second and credit Josh Smith here. Instead of taking a hard foul at Ibaka or getting into a fight, or even just lobbing insults which would warrant a technical, Smith talked to the floor leader for the Thunder, Kevin Durant, and explained it to him. Respectful leadership and conflict resolution in the NBA? Be still, my leaping heart.

Now then, this situation is going to get judged by whatever your pre-conceived notions are. If you’re the type that thinks that running up the score should be allowed, that it’s the objective of the defense to stop the offense, and we shouldn’t punish players for going to the whistle, even when the game is very clearly over and there’s absolutely nothing to be gained from such endeavors, then you’re probably going to side with Westbrook and Ibaka. If you’re the type that thinks there should be limits and rules regarding how you behave in a professional sporting contest where the objective at all times is to create baskets while preventing the same from your opponent, then you’re probably not going to like this. We’re not going to settle it, because we all have our opinions and they’re unlikely to change in this matter.

But it does show a level of immaturity on the part of the Thunder. You avoid riling a team up by just running out the clock, and you do right by your fellow athlete. The Hawks and Thunder don’t have a rivalry, they’re not even in the same conference. It’s not going to be well received by veterans like Smith, and in fact, Scott Brooks wasn’t a fan of it either. From Thunder blog Daily Thunder:

However, Scott Brooks wasn’t a fan of the play and said he talked to Westbrook about it. “When you’ve got the game won, you run the clock out,” Brooks said.

via OKC gets hot from outside to take down Atlanta, 103-94 | Daily Thunder.com.

It’s just kind of what you do. Daily Thunder argues that the Hawks were still trying to score in a similar situation. And that’s accurate. No one’s saying the Thunder shouldn’t play defense, or if the Hawks were to somehow close the gap, that the Thunder should miss free throws or not score to extend the lead if pressured, but in this situation, the Hawks had capitulated. And when the opponent throws in the towel, you don’t give them one more punch on the way down, even if it does get you the triple-double.

That triple-double is what is at the heart of this whole thing, the pursuit of a bit of statistical greatness for a single night. But while all triple-doubles are subject to the same kinds of arbitrary stat attribution that all great games are (“Was that really his rebound?” “Was that really an assist?”), this one feels like it needs more of an asterisk than most. It’s reminiscent of Brett Favre taking a dive to give Strahan the sack record. It wasn’t a huge deal, but it still takes it away to a certain degree.

Should be fun next time these two teams meet.

Oh, and in case you believe in Karma, the Thunder were blown out of the building, down the street, into the river, down the stream, and into the Gulf of Mexico the next night by the Spurs, 101-74. Just sayin’.



The Bobcats finally have a triple-double

Charlotte Bobcats v Miami Heat
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The Bobcats have been around since 2004, and yet they have never had a triple-double. Not one. Not from Gerald Wallace, not from… okay, that pretty much wraps up the players who could have had a triple-double for the Bobcats. So you can see why they’ve never had one. Until last night.

Stephen Jackson, in a Bobcats romp over the Nash-less Suns, had 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, giving the Bobcats their first triple-double player. It was tooth and nail for his last assist but he managed to get it under the buzzer and it’s a big deal for him and the Bobcats organization. The Bobcats all of a sudden are 5-5 in their last 10, with D.J. Augustin playing well and their center problems not being so profound. They’ll still need a lot more performances like last night by Jackson to get back to the playoffs again.