John Wall has certainly shocked many of us through this season. We were confused as how he could return after two years of no basketball. We should thank the 21st century for the technology and tools that players have to get healthy. Being able to rehab the in the timeframe that he did allowed Wall to return this season close to his old self.
The takeaways from this past season is that Wall still displays quickness and athleticism, but it seems to be at a more patient pace. He doesn’t seem to force the issue when he plays and he makes the right decision on offense. The change could be because of his injury history that he is being more preserve and control with the basketball. Whatever it is, Wall has benefitted off of this new style and it is resulting in terrific numbers.
Wall is averaging 18.1 points per game on 43% shooting. He is also being a terrific playmaker on the floor with reading the defense and finding open guys around the floor. Although he was projected to create great chemistry with former Rocket James Harden, Wall has still done a terrific job of holding his ground in the backcourt. Coach Stephen Silas is allowing him to play his style and control the pace of the game.
Two years of rehabbing his injury has certainly allowed Wall to become a more gifted offensive player to say the least. This is where his patience comes into play on the offensive end. Wall has done a great job at knocking down perimeter shots. He has found a better job at creating space and taking advantage of open opportunities. For most of his career, Wall has been known as a poor perimeter scorer. This season, he is making perimeter shooting more of an effort to continue to develop on.
The notable game for Wall this season is January 2nd vs Sacramento. To many people, this game was an example of vintage John Wall prior to the injuries. He was in a mindset to attack at will and took advantage of the poor defense the Kings displayed. Wall recorded 28 points along with three steals on the night. It was a game where he was able to create lanes into the paint and finish with high percentage shots. It was only his second game of the season, but Wall managed to find new chemistry with his Rockets’ teammates.
This season shows that Wall is enjoying being back on the floor in numerous ways. From jawing back and forth with Russell Westbrook to proving haters wrong, Wall shows that he is back where he was with his competitive edge. The toughness and trash talking could allow other teammates to play with that same passion and commitment as he does. That’s the beauty of what being an 11 year veteran is all about.
To many, the emergence of Wall is no surprise. Looking back at his preseason matchup against Chicago, Wall looked explosive and energized throughout the game. But the challenge was what he was going to do through the regular season. Although James Harden has now departed, Wall has great teammates in Christian Wood, Victor Oladipo, DeMarcus Cousins, and others who can back him up whenever needed. It’s no pressure to put up high scoring numbers on a nightly. As long as Wall is continuing to find ways to be effective on the floor, the Rockets will continue to climb the race in the Western Conference.
John Wall must continue to prove doubters wrong this season. Many people like myself were ready for his era in Washington to be a wrap. Although I was ready for him to depart from DC, I always knew that he could still be a great contributor to a playoff team. The Houston Rockets look as if they have a bright future ahead of them. Players continue to remain healthy in the lineup and are playing together on the floor. Wall must use his 11 year experience to help this team get over the hump. As the Rockets sit at the 10th spot in the West, the team could potentially land a playoff spot led in part by Wall’s impact on the floor.