What Is a Double Double in NBA?

Jimmy Remland
By Jimmy Remland 5 Min Read
5 Min Read

Basketball aficionados, especially those well-versed in statistics, eagerly anticipate moments when players produce double-digit numbers on the court. One such achievement is the double-double, a remarkable feat that reflects a player’s versatility and impact. In this article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of double-doubles in NBA basketball, explore the historical context, and highlight notable players who have excelled in this category.

What Is a Double-Double?

double-double occurs when a player achieves double digits in two of the following five statistical categories during a single game:

  1. Points: Scoring at least 10 points.
  2. Rebounds: Grabbing 10 or more rebounds.
  3. Assists: Dishing out 10 assists.
  4. Steals: Registering 10 steals.
  5. Blocks: Blocking 10 shots.

The most common form of a double-double combines points and rebounds or points and assists. Let’s explore some fascinating examples and historical milestones related to double-doubles.

Notable Double-Double Performances

  1. Tracy McGrady: The youngest player in NBA history to achieve a double-double was Tracy McGrady, who accomplished this feat during his fifth game with the Toronto Raptors. On November 15, 1997, McGrady came off the bench, scoring 10 points and securing 11 rebounds. His illustrious career included two scoring titles, seven All-Star Games, and over 18,000 points, along with 137 double-doubles.
  2. Dikembe Mutombo: Coincidentally, the oldest player to record a double-double also wore a Rockets jersey. Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo achieved a double-double at the age of 18 and a half. On April 10, 2009, he scored 10 points and grabbed 15 rebounds as the Rockets defeated the Golden State Warriors. Mutombo’s career boasts an impressive 471 double-doubles.
  3. Kevin Love’s Streak: Kevin Love’s remarkable streak of 53 consecutive games with a double-double stands as the longest since the merger between the NBA and the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 1976. From November 22, 2010, to March 11, 2011, Love consistently averaged 20 points and 15 rebounds per contest.
  4. Wilt Chamberlain: The legendary Wilt Chamberlain dominates the double-double record books. With an astounding 968 double-doubles, Chamberlain remains the NBA’s all-time leader. His ability to dominate both scoring and rebounding led to numerous 20-20 and 30-30 performances. Remarkably, he achieved the rare 40-40 (40 points and 40 rebounds) eight times, a feat unmatched in NBA history.

Modern-Day Double-Double Machines

As the NBA evolves, so do the players who consistently notch double-doubles. Let’s explore some contemporary stars who excel in this statistical category:

  1. Nikola Jokić: The Serbian center for the Denver Nuggets is a double-double maestro. His unique blend of passing, scoring, and rebounding makes him a triple-threat on the court. In the 2020-2021 season, Jokić averaged an impressive 26.4 points10.8 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game. His court vision and basketball IQ elevate his double-double performances.
  2. Giannis Antetokounmpo: The “Greek Freak” from the Milwaukee Bucks is a force to be reckoned with. His combination of athleticism, size, and skill allows him to dominate both ends of the floor. Giannis consistently posts double-doubles, often surpassing 30 points and 10 rebounds. His versatility and ability to play multiple positions contribute to his statistical prowess.
  3. Russell Westbrook: Known for his relentless motor, Westbrook has etched his name in double-double history. His explosive playing style results in high-scoring games and abundant assists. Westbrook’s triple-double feats are legendary, but his double-doubles are equally impressive. During the 2016-2017 season, he averaged a jaw-dropping 31.6 points10.7 rebounds, and 10.4 assists per game.

Team Impact and Winning Formula

Double-doubles aren’t just individual achievements; they significantly impact team success. Here’s why:

  1. Rebounding: Players who consistently secure rebounds provide their team with second-chance opportunities. Offensive rebounds extend possessions, leading to more shot attempts. Defensive rebounds prevent opponents from capitalizing on missed shots.
  2. Balanced Scoring: Double-doubles often involve scoring and assisting. Players who contribute in both areas keep the offense flowing. They create open looks for teammates and maintain offensive balance.
  3. Energy and Effort: Achieving a double-double requires relentless effort. Players who hustle for rebounds, dive for loose balls, and facilitate scoring demonstrate commitment to their team’s cause.

Double-Double Records and Milestones

  1. Oscar Robertson: The original triple-double king, Robertson, recorded an astonishing 181 triple-doubles during his career. However, he also amassed 748 double-doubles, showcasing his all-around brilliance.
  2. Tim Duncan: The stoic power forward for the San Antonio Spurs consistently delivered double-doubles. Duncan’s fundamental skills, including impeccable footwork and positioning, led to 841 double-doubles over his illustrious career.
  3. Karl Malone: The “Mailman” delivered more than mail. Malone’s scoring ability and tenacity on the boards resulted in 1,134 double-doubles, the most in NBA history.

Stay tuned for more NBA insights and statistical wonders!

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *