John Wall has been through a lot, both on and off the court, over the past two years. Not only did the former No. 1 overall pick undergo surgery to remove bone spurs in his left heel and repair the Achilles tendon he tore after falling at his house, but Wall also tragically lost his mother due to cancer.
On top of his injuries and mom passing away, Wall was traded from the Washington Wizards to the Houston Rockets, ending his decorated run in the nation’s capital. Many people around the NBA were curious to see if Wall would be an effective player on the Rockets since the two surgeries he underwent were very serious.
However, as he’s done his entire life, John Wall is proving his critics wrong.
John Wall finishes with 22 points, six rebounds, and nine assists in his Rockets debut
After missing the Rockets’ first two games of the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19 contact tracing, John Wall made his Houston debut on New Year’s Eve against the Sacramento Kings. The five-time All-Star finished with 22 points, six rebounds, and nine assists in 37 minutes.
Wall shot 8-of-20 from the field, 2-of-8 from beyond the arc, and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line. More importantly for the Rockets, the 30-year-old helped Houston get its first win of the season and showed off his blazing speed on several occasions.
James Harden and John Wall combined for 55 points and 17 assists versus the Kings. If Wall can remain healthy this season and Harden changes his mind about wanting out of Houston, the Rockets will have one of the best backcourt duos in the NBA.
John Wall sends a message to the NBA after his first game in 735 days
John Wall has never lacked confidence, and that trend has continued even though the explosive guard has suffered some devastating injuries over the past couple of years. After looking like an All-Star against the Kings, Wall sent a message to the rest of the league.
“Having 22, 9 and 6 is not bad for my first game in two years,” Wall said, via Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “I can pat myself on the back for that, and I know that I’ll be even better for the next game. I was happy to be able to compete with some of the best guys in this league and [demonstrate] that I have the ability to be one of the best point guards in this league.”
During his rehab, Wall heard all the chatter about how he’s washed up and has one of the NBA’s worst contracts. That fueled him to attack his recovery and workouts. Even though it’s only one game, Wall looked stellar against the Kings and didn’t appear rusty.
The Rockets will obviously need John Wall to shoot better than 8-of-20 from the floor and 2-of-8 from deep moving forward. However, the veteran guard certainly turned heads in his first meaningful game in 735 days.
Rockets can be a dangerous team if James Harden stays
James Harden is averaging 37.0 points through the Rockets’ first three games of the season. The 2018 MVP is looking to lead the NBA in scoring for the fourth consecutive season, and he’s well on his way to accomplishing that feat.
Multiple reports have stated that Harden is still looking to get traded by the Rockets despite the additions of John Wall, Christian Wood, and DeMarcus Cousins. However, The Beard may want to change his mind about his trade request after seeing what Wall, Wood, and Cousins bring to the table.
Against the Kings, Harden, Wall, Wood, and Cousins combined for 84 points. The Rockets can be a force in the Western Conference if Harden stays, especially since he has a close relationship with Wall.