So far so good for John Wall and his return to action from multiple injuries, including a torn Achilles. In his first appearance on an NBA floor in nearly two years, Wall looked good overall and the numbers — 13 points and 9 assists in 19 minutes — were spectacular.
Sure, it was just preseason, sure it was against a crappy opponent, but he looked good physically. He seemed to have some of the old burst, and there were a couple times he opened up in transition and seemed as fast as ever.
In my Player Production Average metric, a pace neutral production metric that rewards players for things they do to help their team win (scoring, rebounding, playmaking, defending) and dings them for things that don’t (missed shots, turnovers, poor defense, fouling), Wall rated a 341. In PPA, average is 100. If he can do that every night, he’ll be the league MVP.
It was great to see him back on the floor, especially in the pick-and-pop sets with former college teammate DeMarcus Cousins, who’s trying to salvage his career, which has been wrecked by injury the past couple seasons.
All that said, it wouldn’t be me writing about Wall (or anyone else for that matter) without some nitpicking. Specifically, three of his 10 field goal attempts were long twos. He hit two against the Bulls, but they’re still not good shots and they’re still taking him away from what he does best — force defenses to react and then picking them apart with his court vision and accurate passes.
Still, a terrific debut from Wall and a promising start to the Rockets era of his career.