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Houston Rockets: Who’s going to be the starting point guard?

N.B. Lindberg
Los Angeles Clippers v Houston Rockets
Los Angeles Clippers v Houston Rockets / Carmen Mandato/Getty Images
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Who should be the Houston Rockets starting point guard: The veterans

John Wall, Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets v Miami Heat / Michael Reaves/Getty Images

D.J. Augustin

D.J. Augustin hasn’t been a full-time starter since 2018-19 when he was with the Orlando Magic. Augustin thrived as a low usage point guard who set up the offense and shot efficiently from beyond the arc. In fact, by many advanced metrics, his 2018-19 campaign was the finest season of his career. However, it comes with a slight caveat. 

That Magic team ran their offense primarily through Nikola Vucevic. His 28-percent usage rate led the team by a large margin and greatly reduced Augustin’s responsibilities. The Rockets don’t have a frontcourt player with Vucevic’s passing creativity, which means their point guard needs to be a primary initiator. 

Augustin is the perfect backup point guard. He keeps an offense ticking. He hits open shots. He simply knows how to keep things under control. However, he doesn’t have the juice to consistently bend a defense and create open looks for his teammates. Augustin is an excellent backup. Expect the Rockets to lean into his strengths, not accentuate his weaknesses by starting him.  

John Wall

At 31, it’s sad to think that John Wall’s career is on its last legs. There was a time when he was one of the most exciting young point guards in the league. He combined elite athleticism and playmaking with excellent defense. There’s a reason the Wizards haven’t had a winning record since his body began to betray him.

However, the John Wall that the Rockets have is not the same player. He will occasionally show flashes of what once made him great but they’re simply cruel reminders of what once was. That doesn’t mean Wall can’t contribute to winning. His passing vision is still elite and his burst, while not legendary anymore, is still good enough. 

In all likelihood, Wall is the Rockets' best point guard. If he can stay healthy, a big if, at this point, he gives them the best chance to win on a nightly basis. If he reigns in his shooting and looks to distribute more he has a great chance to average close to 15 points and 10 assists a night. What can’t happen, is Wall believing he is still the player that can single-handedly win a game. One of the most important traits for a point guard is self-awareness. If Wall has some, the job should be his.