What is a Triple-Double in NBA?

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When talking about NBA stats, we often heard about the achievements of a triple-double of some NBA players. In this article, we will explain everything about what a triple-double is and who are the players that have more in their careers. 

What is a Triple-double?

The concept of a triple-double in basketball is when the player in the match reaches the double digit in at least 3 of the traditional 5 quantifiable statistics: points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. 

Points: the number of baskets scored by a player/team. 

Rebounds: number of times a missed shot has been taken by the opposite player/team.

Assists: number of baskets directly set up by a player with a pass. 

Steals: the number of times the ball has been taken away from possession of the opposition.

Blocks: the number of shots altered by a defender by physically deflecting the ball. 

How to achieve a triple-double?

To be able to achieve a triple-double in basketball, one player must score at least 10 points, rebounds, assists, steals or blocks during the course of the game. The most common and easiest to achieve kind of triple-double is the points-rebounds-assists. But some centers have been able to achieve triple-doubles with blocks instead of assists.

Most triple-doubles made in 2019 – 2020 season

The players currently active with more triple-doubles in the regular season are: Luka Dončić  (Dallas Mavericks) with 17, followed by LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers) and Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets) with 13 each, Russell Westbrook (Houston Rockets) with 8, Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers) with 6 and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), James Harden (Houston Rockets) and Domantas Sabonis (Indiana Pacers) tied with 4.

Most triple-doubles of all time

The most triple-doubles by a single player in NBA regular season history are by Oscar Robertson with 181. Russell Westbrook, currently an active player for the Houston Rockets, is in second place with 146, while Magic Johnson is in third place with 138. The next are Jason Kid with 107 and in fifth position LeBron James with 94.

The most triple-doubles by a single player in NBA playoffs history are by Magic Johnson, who has 30. LeBron James is in second place with 23. Jason Kidd is in third place with 11, while the trio of Larry Bird, Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook are in 4th place with 10 each.

And if we talk about NBA finals, LeBron James is the King with 10 triple-doubles, followed by Magic Johnson with 8.


The profile of the MVP

NBA MVP is decided by a panel of sportswriters and Broadcasters from the US and Canada. There is no official criteria for being voted the NBA’s MVP. We could say that the criteria is whatever the voter decides. Many factors come into play, and these factors change from voter-to-voter.

There are however some unofficial criteria (or precedents) that most MVPs seem to have in common.

The MVP must come from one of the most strong teams of the regular season (usually top 3 in the conference). For sure, must have also convincing stats.

As the voters are reporters, the MVP should leave a good impression on the media and preferably have good relationships with them.

Purely based on statistics, to be a candidate for MVP, the player must play at least 87% of the matches of his team which, in a normal season, is equivalent to 70 matches and should be able to win approximately 75% of these 70 or more games, that is, a season of at least 52 wins.

Finally, the candidate would have been among the top 7 most voted for MVPs from the previous year. He would have previously won some other major NBA awards, such as Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Valuable Player of the All-Star Game or Most Improved Player.

The Candidates

This year the NBA MVP award will be disputed between Giannis Antetokounmpo,  LeBron James and James Harden. According to forecasts Giannis will probably be named back to back MVP since, stat wise, he is unstoppable this year. 

All three stars have already been MVP, so this experience will not be new for them.

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