Could Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid Both Average a Triple-double in the Same NBA Season?

Posted in Blogroll on December 4th, 2017 by Michael Tillery


With these two, anything is possible…

When LeBron James returned to Cleveland for the very first time while playing for the Miami Heat in 2010, a discussion broke out between a few writers pregame if anyone — including James — would ever average a triple double for an entire season. The stat is achieved when a player reaches double digits in three different statistical categories in the same game. The conversation referenced the aforementioned James, as well as legends Wilt Chamberlain (the last center to lead the league in dimes), Hakeem Olajuwon, Alvin Robertson, Clyde Drexler, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Walt Frazier, Magic Johnson, Jason Kidd, Larry Bird, Fat Lever, Chris Webber, Grant Hill and of course Oscar Robertson. I was the lone voice saying it could be done, but I thought it would be LeBron doing so. Seven years later, Russell Westbrook became the first since Oscar Robertson to accomplish the season stat line during his MVP campaign in 55 years. It’s an incredible feat, and great for basketball, because during the final games of last season, it was something most hoops fans wanted to see done. It’s great for basketball evolution, I say, because anytime basketball is discussed, the game wins, and basketball’s popularity is soaring in this era of social media fueled analytics. Fantasy league owners watch closely in hopes a player on their roster scores a triple double. The game is changing, because players in this most encapsulated age are better if they can do more on the floor. Centers are shooting threes and bringing the ball up; point guards are rebounding and blocking shots at a higher clip. In Philly, two young stars are filling stat sheets in rare fashion. Is it possible that who I call the Wunderkind Twins — Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid — could also average what I call an Oscar (an ode to Oscar Robertson) over the course of 82 games as teammates?

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