Although Houston Rockets point guard John Wall had missed more than two years of NBA action entering this season, Wall has played better than most could have expected this season. Wall’s impact has certainly been felt when he’s off the floor compared to when he’s in the lineup.
A good example of this was Christian Wood’s post-game comments following the Rockets’ victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
“It’s finally good to have my point guard back. I think John did a great job of getting us set in the offense. Putting me in spots to where I can just spot up and shoot. Making my job easier. It’s good to have him back.”
Wall has been the Rockets’ unquestioned leader, as his veteran presence and leadership have been pivotal. Rockets coach Stephen Silas and GM Rafael Stone have both discussed how valuable Wall had been to the organization and Wall has taken on the responsibility of mentoring Kevin Porter Jr. and helping him mature into a professional.
“My job is to try to help him out as much as possible. Kevin Porter is a great talent. I’ve been watching him since high school. I know how much talent he’s got. And I’m just trying to help him be a great professional, that’s all.”
Wall’s biggest issue has been staying healthy this season, as injuries have forced him to miss 18 of the team’s 51 games thus far. The Rockets have gone just 2-16 in the games that Wall has missed, which is just 11.1 percent.
On the flip side, the Rockets have gone 12-21 with Wall in the lineup, which is a winning percentage of 36.4 percent. Wall has averaged 20.5 points and 6.8 assists this season, but his aforementioned leadership has been equally important.
Wall will reportedly need a knee scope at some point this season, but he’s made it clear that he doesn’t want to sit out the remainder of the season.
John Wall: "Alot of people thought I was going to sit out the rest of the season because we didn’t have a chance to make the playoffs. But I love the game too much. I've been out for 2 years.
And I love the city I'm playing for."
— Anthony Duckett (@a_duckett) April 8, 2021
How the Houston Rockets are planning to manage John Wall’s injury woes for the rest of the way
With Wall intent on playing for the rest of the way, the Rockets will have to formulate a plan to manage his injury woes. Rockets coach Stephen Silas explained that Wall’s status for each remaining game will come down to how he feels on the day of, during Wednesday’s interview on the Matt Thomas Show on SportsTalk 790.
“Yeah I think that is kind of the reality of it. Making sure that he is doing everything that he needs to do and making sure that the performance team is on top of whatever it takes to be on the floor.
He desperately wants to be on the floor but he’s coming back from a major injury, and now he has these little nagging ones that kind of come and go and we have to be conscious of that.”
The Rockets have 21 games remaining for the rest of the season, including five sequences of back-to-back games. The Houston Rockets will benefit from having Wall on the floor from a chemistry standpoint, but must also take his long-term health into account.
The latter point will certainly be important if Wall remains with the team beyond this season.