Saturday , Aug , 20 , 2011 J.N.

NBA Players who can reach near Magic Johnson level

Magic Johnson was a triple double machine 6-9 point guard. There will not be any one reaching “NEAR” Michael Jordan level anytime soon, but is there anyone who can reach near Magic Johnson? Magic has 138 career triple doubles in the regular season and 30 triple doubles in the playoffs from a career 190 playoff games. His career averages are 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 11.2 assists. Those are ridiculous numbers for anyone to obtain. What players today have the skills to do that?

Is 6-9 a requirement? Nope. Only a point guard can get these numbers? Nope. He can play any position as long as the offense revolves around him. This player has to be great in three facets of the game: scoring, rebounding, and assists. Oscar Robertson was the God of this bunch then comes Magic and Jason Kidd. This type of player has to be durable and committed to playing hard every game to get the averages. Pull a Ricky Davis (find cheap easy ways to get a triple double) and it will come back to haunt him so don’t try it. If that player has to resort to cheap tactics then he was not a triple double machine for starters. They can be disregarded.

Who are the current players who can reach near Magic Johnson triple double level (besides winning rings and league MVPs)?

LeBron James

He’s currently armed with 32 regular season triple doubles going in to his ninth season. That is a small total. James has a long way to even reach Jason Kidd level and that is not a diss to Kidd. The situation does not look good for LeBron because you would think that he would have double the amount he currently has right now coupled with his frame, skill set, and explosive power within that size.

James has the ability to average a triple double season only if he does not focus on scoring and transfer that over on to rebounding and passing. He can easily get 20 points and then just focus on defense and play-making for the rest of the game especially playing behind offensive weapons such as Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

He has the passing vision (not as great as Magic/Kidd), the quickness, size, and ball handling ability to average a triple double. LeBron might be able to do it if he transitions over to the power forward position as he gets older and slower.

Blake Griffin

This big guy can absolutely do this early. Think about this – LeBron did not have any triple doubles during his rookie campaign. Blake Griffin has two triple doubles during his rookie year. Jason Kidd had 4. Simply put, it’s a good sign.

Chris Paul

Nope. The rebounding holds him back and that’s because he is small.

Derrick Rose

Nope. He only has one triple double going in to his 4th season. Rose is more of a scoring play-maker anyway.

Rajon Rondo

Yes. He nearly averaged a triple double in the 2008-2009 playoffs: 16.9 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 9.8 assists. President Barack Obama recently got in to his head. Rondo should not think about it too much because Obama has to think about the economy and re-election. A criticism of Rondo’s jump shot is small beans. Yep, Rondo is bad there, but he has other ways to score. If he can be the 2008-2009 Rondo for the majority of any season then watch out.

Russell Westbrook

Yes. He has more triple doubles than Derrick Rose so far with 5 right now before he enters his 4th season.

The points and assists are not problems. They’re automatic. It is the rebounding that is the problem. It was a problem for Magic and Oscar Robertson. Magic would have been averaging multiple triple double seasons if he was more gifted there. The Big O and Jason Kidd just needed more height. Hitting the boards is the problem for most of these guys, except Blake Griffin, because they are perimeter oriented players. They just don’t camp in the paint for boards.

Who can be near that Magic Johnson statistical machine? Who can realistically reach it? Is he even in the league right now?

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