31 points on 10-19 shooting and 10-12 from the line, 12 assists and nine rebounds is a really, really great line for a basketball player. It’s such a good line, in fact, that it’s been done exactly once this season and when we expand the search to 30 points, 10 of anything and nine of anything else, the number barely grows. Needless to say, if you throw up a 30-10-9, you’re having a good game.
But you’re not having a triple-double, that most significant of arbitrary stats. And even though Goran Dragic is that one person to put up 31 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds, he still didn’t get that triple-double no matter how hard he tried. From the AP:
”Somebody told me I had 8 minutes to get one rebound,” he said. ”I said, ‘Don’t tell me that.’ Then I was thinking too much. It’s really tough with those big guys to get one. I was just hoping maybe to get one long rebound that’s easy to grab. But you know in the end, they executed well. They didn’t miss a lot of shots.”
Aw man, tough break. Sometimes all you want to do is grab a single rebound but you can’t do it because there’s a bunch of giants hanging around and grabbing all the boards. Ask Chris Bosh — it’s frustrating.
Good for him for trying though, and for admitting it afterwards. A lot of times when guys are openly gunning for stats, they get blasted for doing so. Shoutout to Ricky Davis and JaVale McGee. But ever since LeBron came clean, I guess we’re living in a more enlightened world where trying to big up yourself is OK when you’re trying to get your team a win. And considering there were never more than four points separating the Suns and Nets during the fourth quarter, it’s probably OK to have your point guard helping out on the boards, especially against a team who is third in the league in offensive rebound rate.
But it was all for naught, as Dragic failed to record that last rebound during the game’s final eight minutes. Now he’s just going to have to live with the shame that comes from putting up a season-best game — those 31 points were just a single point shy of his career high — but not locking down a triple-double. It’s the kind of thing millions of people worldwide have to live with every year, and you just have to hope that Goran Dragic will be ready to grab that last rebound the next time an opportunity like this presents itself.
It’s like my friend Marshall Mathers says, “If you had one shot to grab the only rebound you’ve ever wanted in one moment, would you capture it or just let it slip?” Last night, Goran Dragic let it slip. Next time, probably not but who knows for sure?