Maybe Russell Westbrook should stick with the mask.
Westbrook, who has worn a protective mask since having surgery to repair a broken cheekbone, came up with his fifth triple-double in six games as the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Toronto Raptors 108-104.
“It’s been crazy,” Westbrook’s teammate Anthony Morrow said (via NewsOK.com). “I nicknamed him Maniac Russ. He’s incredible. His ceiling is so high.”
In last 50 yrs, only players to avg 33 pts/10 reb/10 assists over 10-game span in a season are Michael Jordan & Russell Westbrook (ELIAS)
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 9, 2015
Just how high? He’s keeping company with legendary Hall of Famers Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and Oscar Robertson, as Berry Tramel notes:
Eyebrows rose only when you learned that only Magic has posted those minimum numbers in an NBA game. And when you learned that Westbrook joins Robertson as the only players ever with at least 200 points, 50 rebounds and 50 assists over a five-game span. And Westbrook joined Jordan as the only players in the last 50 years to average 33 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists over a 10-game span.
It’s not crazy to ask if anyone has ever played basketball like Russell Westbrook is playing it.
This is a national phenomenon. Nightly must-see NBA TV. Forget the playoff race. Forget even the MVP debate. Who needs a trophy? America has spoken. Basketball can’t take its eyes off Russell Westbrook.
Even Kevin Lowry, the man he torched for much of the game, could only admire what he’s accomplished. “He’s playing unbelievable basketball right now,” Lowry, who had 14 points, said. “The man is unbelievable, and he’s pretty much carrying their team right now.”
That’s one way to put it. He certainly has more room to maneuver with Kevin Durant out with a foot injury and, yes, he’s aware of his epic run.
“It crosses my mind when we win, which is the most important thing,” he said.
What’s next? OKC faces the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night, followed by Minnesota on Friday and Chicago on Sunday.
“If you can find somebody who has slowed him down,” DeMar DeRozan said, “let me know.”