A “double-double” is a popular stat in basketball that refers to when a player records double-digit numbers in two positive statistical categories in a single game. Typically, the two categories are points scored and rebounds grabbed, but it can also refer to other combinations like points and assists.
For beginners just learning about basketball stats, the double-double may need to be clarified. This listicle will clearly explain what a double-double is, provide real game examples, and cover some frequently asked questions.
What Does “Double Double” Mean in Basketball?
The term “double-double” in basketball refers to when a player records 10 or more in two of the main positive statistical categories (points, rebounds, assists, steals, or blocks) in a game.
Here is a breakdown of what this definition means:
· Double – The “double” part means the player recorded at least 10 in two categories. So, one of the categories must reach double digits.
· Two Categories – The two categories are usually points and rebounds, but can also be points and assists, rebounds and assists, etc.
· In One Game – The player must achieve double-digit totals in two categories in a single game for it to qualify as a double-double. Totals for the season do not count.
So, in summary, “double-double” means double-digit stats in two categories in one game.
Most Common Type: Points + Rebounds
The most common type of double-double occurs when a player records at least 10 points and ten rebounds in a single game.
For example, if a player scored 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in last night’s game, they finished with a double-double.
Since points and rebounds are two of the major box score stats, this is the easiest way for a basketball player to record a double-double. Big men and forwards like power forwards and centers who focus on rebounding are most likely to achieve a points + rebounds double-double.
Other Double Double Combinations
While points and rebounds are the most common, here are some other statistical combinations of double-doubles:
· Points and Assists – For example, 15 points and 11 assists in a game. Common for guards.
· Points and Steals
· Points and Blocks
· Rebounds and Assists – For example, 13 rebounds and ten assists.
· Rebounds and Steals
· Rebounds and Blocks
So while points + rebounds are the most popular double-double, players can use other categories too.
Double Double Example From an NBA Game
Let’s look at a real-life double-double example from an NBA game:
On October 22, 2022, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks put up the following stat line:
· Points: 44
· Rebounds: 12
· Assists: 3
· Steals: 1
· Blocks: 1
Since Antetokounmpo recorded over 10 points (44 points) and over ten rebounds (12 rebounds), he officially registered a “double-double” in this game.
This is your classic points + rebounds double-double. And with his high-point total, it was an exceptionally strong double-double.
How Common Are Double Doubles in Basketball?
While double-doubles may sound difficult to achieve, they actually occur somewhat frequently in basketball:
· In the NBA, there are typically 3-4 players each season who average a double-double. For example, Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Rudy Gobert.
· The WNBA has around 1-2 players who average a double-double each season.
· At the NCAA Division 1 level, 5-10 players will average a double-double throughout a college season.
· At lower competition levels like high school and rec leagues, double-doubles occur less frequently since all-around statistical production is lower. But stronger players can still occasionally record them.
So, while they take good all-around play, double-doubles happen reasonably often among top players and professionals. They show a player is versatile and excelling across multiple statistical categories.
What Is Considered a “Good” Double Double?
When evaluating how strong or impressive a double-double is, there are a few key factors:
The Height of the Double Digit Totals
A double-double with higher numbers is more impressive. For example:
· 30 points and 15 rebounds – Very strong
· 12 points and 11 rebounds – Decent
· 10 points and ten rebounds – Bare minimum totals
So, double-doubles with big numbers stand out more than those closer to the 10/10 threshold.
Rare Double Double Combinations
Different combinations like points + blocks or rebounds + steals are rare. These unique double-doubles are impressive in their own right.
Other Stats in the Game
If a player records a double-double AND dishes five assists, gets three steals, shoots efficiently, etc., in the same game, it demonstrates broader statistical dominance.
So those are some factors that make a double-double stat line stand out as high-quality.
Triple Doubles: The Next Level Stat
A “triple-double” occurs when a player records double digits in three of the major statistical categories in one game. For example:
· 13 points
· 11 rebounds
· Ten assists
This shows expansive all-around play by excelling in three categories in one game.
While triple-doubles are less common than double-doubles, they indicate an outstanding overall performance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some FAQs about double-doubles in basketball:
What is the record for most double-doubles in an NBA season?
The record for most double-doubles in an NBA season belongs to Wilt Chamberlain. In the 1967-68 season, he recorded an incredible 78 double-doubles!
What is the easiest double-double combination?
The easiest double-double is points + rebounds. Since players already focus on scoring and rebounding as core parts of the game, it allows them to reach the 10/10 threshold more readily.
Has a WNBA player ever averaged a double-double for a season?
Yes. Sylvia Fowls’ of the Minnesota Lynx averaged a double-double in both the 2017 and 2018 seasons, joining the elite company of Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell as the only players to do so.
Who was the last NCAA Division 1 player to average a double-double for a season?
In the 2021-22 season, Kofi Cockburn of Illinois was the most recent Division 1 player to average a double-double for a season (20.9 PPG and 10.6 RPG).
Can positions other than centers or power forwards record double-doubles?
Absolutely. While big men tend to record more points + rebounds double-doubles, guards can achieve points + assists double-doubles, for example. Positions that rebound well, like small forwards, can also record them. So, while less common, all positions can potentially record double-doubles.
I hope this list clearly explains what a double-double in basketball is! Let me know if you have any other questions.