Thursday, January 21

Wall to debut the Rockets against the Kings

Houston guard John Wall was impatient last week, eagerly awaiting his first regular season game in two years before COVID-19 protocols put his Rockets debut on hiatus.

Now that his quarantine is complete, Wall can resume the track he was on before contact tracing forced him to watch the Rockets’ first two games, both losses. Wall will be available when Houston hosts the Sacramento Kings on Thursday.

” We had a couple of practices before with the whole team, but it was good,” Wall said of his return to practice. ” We all know the plays and things like that, we just wanted to acclimatize after they had two games on the road that we had to miss because of the quarantine.

“( The practice) was good and now we are ready to play tomorrow.”

The Rockets traveled with just nine players for road games in Portland and Denver and will welcome three of the six players who were in quarantine: DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Gordon and Wall.

There is concern about how prepared those veterans will be in what amounts to the top of the season. The short-lived Rockets posted heavy minutes and played enthusiastically in an overtime loss to the Trail Blazers, but there is some uncertainty against the Kings.

” It’s a process that will continue for a while,” Rockets coach Stephen Silas said. “You’d expect it to be similar (to the Portland game) but as far as the protocols they’ve been going through up to this point, and they haven’t really been working or being with the team, it’s really hard to say what we’ll see tomorrow with those guys. “

The Kings have enjoyed a surprising 3-1 start to the season, including their 125-115 win over Denver on Tuesday.

The balanced score has contributed to that success, with six Kings scoring in double digits led by point guard De’Aaron Fox (20.3 points per game). An unexpected addition to that list: Rookie backup guard Tyrese Haliburton, who is averaging 10.5 points and 5.3 assists in 27.0 minutes off the bench.

Haliburton, who finished 12th overall at Iowa State, came in with a reputation for maturity. In these early stages of his career, he has demonstrated his ability to fulfill all necessary facets.

” He still has a lot to learn, but there’s something about him when you train him, you feel confident when he’s on the court that something good is going to happen on both sides of the court,” Kings coach Luke Walton said.

After matching 12 points with four assists in his debut against the Nuggets on December 23, Halliburton helped the Kings rebound from a loss to the Suns by scoring 13 points, six assists and three steals, while Sacramento posted a second win over the Nuggets in seven. Days. The plan was for Halliburton to contribute as a rookie. So far, it has exceeded those expectations.

” He doesn’t get nervous,” Fox said. ” He makes great shots, we know he can throw the ball. We all have the utmost confidence in him to make big plays, whether it’s with or without the ball, catching and shooting and things like that. We tell him to be aggressive. “

–Field level media

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