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What Is A Triple Double In Basketball

What Is A Triple Double In Basketball

Understanding Statistical Categories

To comprehend the difference between a triple double vs double double in basketball, it is essential to have a basic understanding of how basketball statistics function. In basketball, there are five primary individual stats that are tracked for every player in each game. These include points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks, which are all displayed in the box score section.

When a player reaches double-digit stats in any of these statistical categories, it is considered a double. While achieving a double double is impressive on its own, there are players who manage to go above and beyond, leading to the concept of triple doubles and double doubles.

What Is a Double Double in Basketball?

A double double in basketball refers to a player scoring in double digits in two out of the five main statistical categories mentioned earlier in a single game. For example, a player might achieve 10 rebounds and 10 assists to record a double double. It is important to note that even if a player does not score in all five categories, as long as they reach double digits in two categories, it qualifies as a double double.

For power forwards and centers, the most common double double combinations are points and rebounds, while guards typically achieve double doubles in points and assists. Scoring double digits in steals or blocks is less common among players.

What Is a Triple Double in Basketball?

A triple double occurs when a basketball player scores in double digits in three out of the five statistical categories. For instance, a player might score 18 points, grab 12 rebounds, and provide 10 assists during a game. While most triple doubles involve a combination of points, rebounds, and assists, other combinations are also possible.

While achieving a triple double is challenging, it is not limited to specific categories. A player could potentially achieve a triple double by accumulating at least 10 points, blocks, and rebounds, although such combinations are rare in basketball.

What Is a Quadruple Double?

Going a step further, a quadruple double is achieved when a player scores at least 10 in four of the statistical categories during a game. This rare feat is surpassed only by a quintuple double, where a player scores in double digits for all five statistical categories in a single game.

Are Double Doubles and Triple Doubles Common?

While the idea of reaching a double double or triple double in basketball may seem daunting for aspiring players, the frequency of these achievements has increased in recent years. This rise in double doubles and triple doubles can be attributed to two main factors:

Increased Game Pace

Experts suggest that the higher occurrence of double doubles and triple doubles is linked to the increased pace of the standard NBA game. The pace of a basketball game refers to the average number of possessions each team utilizes per game. With the league’s pace being higher in recent years, teams have more opportunities to achieve significant stats.

Positionless Game

Another reason for the uptick in double doubles and triple doubles is the shift towards a positionless style of play in modern basketball. Players in all positions now have more opportunities to contribute across various statistical categories, even those not traditionally associated with their position. This shift has made it easier for players to accumulate stats like rebounds, points, and assists.

Prolific Players to Know

For those looking for inspiration, some of the greatest players in basketball history have excelled in achieving double doubles and triple doubles. Here are a few notable players:

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook holds the NBA record for the most career regular season triple doubles, with an impressive 198 to his name. He is also the only player to average a triple double over four distinct seasons in the history of the league.

Westbrook has played for various teams throughout his career, including the Oklahoma City Thunder, Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Lakers, and currently the Los Angeles Clippers.

Josh Giddey

Josh Giddey, the Australian shooting guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder, made history by becoming the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple double on January 2, 2022. In a game against the Dallas Mavericks, Giddey scored 17 points, 14 assists, and 13 rebounds at just 19 years and 84 days old.

Hakeem Olajuwon

In March 1990, Hakeem Olajuwon of the Houston Rockets achieved the first recorded quadruple double in a game against the Golden State Warriors. He followed up this feat with another quadruple double less than a month later against the Milwaukee Bucks, solidifying his place in basketball history.

Wilt Chamberlain

Wilt Chamberlain is reputed to be the only player to achieve a quintuple double in NBA history. In a game in March 1968 while playing for the Philadelphia 76ers, Chamberlain recorded an astounding stat line of 53 points, 32 rebounds, 14 assists, 24 blocks, and 11 steals. However, this achievement remains unofficial as the NBA did not officially record steals and blocks at the time.

Tips for Scoring a Double Double or Triple Double

If you aspire to achieve a double double or triple double in basketball, it is crucial to enhance your versatility and skills on the court. Being a well-rounded player increases your chances of impacting the game positively and building your stats. Here are some tips to help you on your journey:

Expand Your Skill Set

Instead of focusing solely on one aspect of the game, work on developing multiple skills. For example, if you excel at shooting, dedicate time to improve your passing and dribbling abilities. The more versatile you become, the more opportunities you’ll have to contribute to your team’s success.

Learn from Great Players

Study the game and learn from legendary players who have excelled in achieving double doubles and triple doubles. By observing their gameplay and work ethic, you can gain valuable insights to enhance your own performance on the court.

Whether you aim to achieve a double double, a triple double, or even aspire to reach the rare feat of a quadruple double, remember that dedication, skill development, and a deep understanding of the game are key to unlocking your full potential on the basketball court.

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