From 2013-18 there was not an NBA All-Star game without new Houston Rockets superstar guard, John Wall. After a devastating Achilles injury, Wall would not see an NBA court for nearly two years.
In year one in the Space City, Wall looks to be progressively coming back into himself, due to the slow and steady approach he and the team have taken to begin the season.
To fully understand the elite level of performance John Wall has shown in previous years we have to look back at his most dominant season and use that as the measuring stick. Travel back to his 2016-17 campaign where Wall averaged 23.1 points, 10.7 assists, and 4.2 rebounds and made All-NBA Third Team.
Now factor in the fact that Wall, at his peak, was easily a top-five point guard in the NBA and used his pure athleticism to assert dominance on the offensive end. An Achilles injury was one of the worst things to happen to an athletic guard like Wall, but here in 2021, he is showing no such signs of fatigue.
Wall is currently averaging 18.2 points per game, 3.8 rebounds, and 5.9 assists this season with plenty of games left on the schedule. Wall is also shooting a career-best 38.2 percent from long-range on 5.2 attempts per game.
As mentioned before, it looks like Wall has not lost a step but the team is still heeding with caution by limiting his games and workload.
The scoring and assists will increase as the season goes on, as his role as the facilitator is becoming more vital to the team.
How John Wall can re-claim All-Star status with the Houston Rockets
But sometimes making an All-Star team is more than just statistics, as we witnessed with the omission of Bradley Beal last year. Some players like LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard, who do not always have eye-popping numbers, make it due to their sheer presence on the court and impact on the team.
Think of this as the players with the most “value” on their squad, who undoubtedly deserve to play with the league’s best. This factor could work well in Wall’s favor, due to how much differently the Houston Rockets look when Wall isn’t in the lineup.
Wednesday night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder was a prime example, as the Rockets looked lost without Wall at the point, giving up 20 turnovers. Other players such as Victor Oladipo and Eric Gordon, who were doing great at scoring, struggled with their decision-making without Wall in there to distribute.
It is evident that Wall’s chemistry and veteran presence are a must-have on this Rockets team and that makes him valuable.
It would be a crime to not discuss Wall’s tremendous ability to lock down opponents on the defensive end. Many expected him to take a step back and become a liability after losing a step due to the injury, but that does not seem to be the case, as he went up against guys like Damian Lillard and De’Aaron Fox and was able to make his presence known.
Currently, Wall is close to averaging a block per game which is nice for a guard, and something that he has done in a season. Along with that, he is averaging one steal per game, which is efficient, but Wall once doubled that and would probably have to get close to that again to get All-Defense nods and possibly All-Star caliber notice.
The primary reason John Wall will make an All-Star game this season is if he maintains a consistent presence on the court. If that happens the scoring and assists will go up, and could possibly sneak in along with the other premier guards in the Western Conference.
We already know his value to the team and his defensive prowess. In the case of John Wall, his all-around game is solid enough to not necessarily need the outrageous 40-50 point games.
As for how Wall can get back into All-Star consideration, he just needs to remain healthy and continue to be the driving force alongside Christian Wood, as consistency is key.
Wall’s first season with the Houston Rockets has been all about redemption. After missing the better part of two seasons, Wall has been on a quest to prove his doubters wrong and return to perennial All-Star status.