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Could Josh Giddey average a triple-double season?

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19th January, 2022
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When Josh Giddey became the youngest NBA player to record a triple-double on January 3rd against the Dallas Mavericks, he showed tremendous humility and maturity beyond his 19 years.

“It’s cool. I’ll enjoy it for the night,” Giddey told reporters. “But a win is better for me than an individual stat.

“If I had 0-0-0 and we win, I’m more happy than if I have a triple-double. It’s always been that way for me, it always will be, but it’s a cool milestone.”

It’s clear that the young Australian isn’t interested in looking at his name on the box score, however his all around game does put him in the frame as a contender to average a triple-double season.

With Giddey’s Oklahoma City Thunder only playing six games in October, he started his NBA career with an average of 10.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists, which was more than credible for the rookie.

Instantly, the league was drawn to his vision, reading of the game and passing ability.

Josh Giddey for OKC

(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

The Thunder did only record one win in October with Giddey’s best stat line coming in a loss against the Philadelphia 76ers where he recorded 19 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, only a couple of stats short of a triple-double in his third NBA game if you don’t mind.

November saw OKC pick up five wins, including a four-game win-streak as the young group started to find their feet. They still lost nine games for the month, however Giddey was able to record more than 11 rebounds on three occasions, averaging 7.7 for the month.

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He also scored 19 points against the Utah Jazz, a career high which he has achieved four times now as well as achieving 8-plus assists on five occasions.

December was the month that the league started to pay some more attention to the Thunder, and to Giddey. The Thunder won six of their ten games for the month including the big Western Conference scalps of LA Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies and Denver Nuggets in a three-game streak.

In those three games Giddey averaged 13.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and eight assists, not bad when you’re playing the likes of Ja Morant and reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic.

Nikola Jokic (15) of the Denver Nuggets

(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Overall for the month, Giddey averaged 11.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 6.7 assists. One of the more remarkable stats recorded in a win over the New Orleans Pelicans was a scoreless double-double of ten rebounds and ten assists, showing that he doesn’t need to score (at all) to contribute.

January has been tough for the Thunder, picking up only the one-win against a very under-manned Brooklyn Nets who rested Kevin Durant and Patty Mills, leaving James Harden to run virtually a one-man show.

Giddey, of course, recorded his first and to date only triple-double in January with a stat line of 17 points, 13 rebounds, 14 assists and four steals. He has also scored no less than ten points in any game in January with highs of 15 rebounds and 14 assists. For the month to date, he has recorded an average of 13.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and seven assists.

After starting with an average of 10.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists, Giddey has steadily increased his overall average to 11.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists.

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There’s no doubt that OKC are a team that no-one expects much of at the moment but Giddey is leading this team in rebounds, assists, steals as well as being third in points and minutes played behind Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Lou Dort.

Let’s compare Giddey’s rookie season to the man he took the youngest player to record a triple-double record from – LaMelo Ball – in his rookie season. Giddey on average has 4.3 less points, however he has 1.4 more rebounds and 0.2 more assists.

Comparing against arguably the greatest player of this generation LeBron James in his rookie season, Giddey is down 9.5 points, however he’s up 1.8 rebounds and 0.4 assists. The outstanding stat when comparing Giddey to both Ball and James is points but with his continual improvement from three-point range, averaging 41 per cent for January as well as the development of other scoring options will only see that improve.

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Certainly his unselfishness and team-first mentality would also contribute to this, too.

It would be more than a stretch to suggest Giddey could average a triple-double in his rookie season when he’s required to increase his rebounds and assists quite significantly as well as maintaining his scoring level. But it wouldn’t be inconceivable for him to be in the mix in his sophomore year, even with the fact that he may not record too many stand-alone triple-doubles.

Oscar Robertson and Russell Westbrook (four times) are the only players in NBA history to average a triple-double season. Could Australia’s Josh Giddey be the next to do it?

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