Losing 2 Out of 2, Why Houston Rockets Desperately Need John Wall Back

Published 12/29/2020, 5:15 AM EST
Dec 15, 2020; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard John Wall (1) comes up with a loose ball in front of San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during the first half. Mandatory Credit: Mike Wyke/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports


The Houston Rockets are under huge turmoil right now. After a tumultuous offseason, their 2020-21 NBA season is mirroring their struggles as of now. They are coming off a convincing 124-111 beating by the Denver Nuggets.

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They have been missing their star point guard, John Wall, since the season began. It all started when Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, and a few others went for a haircut at a teammate’s apartment. Kenyon Martin Jr. who was among the group tested positive for COVID.

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And even though Wall and the rest of the group returned negative tests, league policies stipulate a 7-day quarantine for such occurrences. Hence, this ruled them out for the first two games. So how exactly has Wall’s absence hurt the Rockets?

John Wall could contribute on both ends of the floor for the Houston Rockets

The Rockets have continued their trend of leaking points from last season. Though they never have been a defensive-minded team, they sought to put that right this season by acquiring John Wall from the Washington Wizards.

He is a former All-Defensive Second Team (2015) selection. And a better defender than their previous star point guards – Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook.

WASHINGTON, USA – DECEMBER 19: John Wall (2) of Washington Wizard in action during the NBA match between Washington Wizard and New Orleans Pelicans at the Capital One Arena in Washington, USA on December 19, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Missing a ball-handler

Elaborating on the Rockets’ reliance on Point Guards, they need him back for his playmaking abilities too. Without him, James Harden has been taking the load of the primary ball-hander with the inept David Nwaba by his side. Harden has been leading in assists for the first two games.

Wall’s career assists average of 9.2 is one of the best in NBA History. He will take the brunt of responsibility in that department and free Harden from the playmaking burden and allow him to do what he does best – score points.

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Wall & Cousins to return for the next game

Fortunately, there’s light at the end of the tunnel for them. The players are finishing their quarantine period and are scheduled to return for their next game. Having Wall back against the Sacramento Kings is a tremendous boost for them.

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They need to get their season underway. Opening their account with Wall running the floor will restore some positivity and hope to the franchise.

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Bharat Aggarwal

757 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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