Watch John Wall Return to Standing Ovation in Wizards' Win vs. Hawks

Stephen BabbFeatured ColumnistJanuary 12, 2013

John Wall returned to NBA action Saturday for the first time this season since being diagnosed with a knee problem in September. 

Fans noticed.

Standing ovation for John Wall who makes his season debut:…

— Beyond The Buzzer(@BeyondTheBuzzer) January 13, 2013

Wall's Washington Wizards emerged victorious for only their sixth win this season. Though Wall played just 20 minutes off the bench, he played well, racking up an efficient 14 points and 4 assists.

Wizards fans were elated long before the final buzzer, though. When your team starts the season 5-28, anything resembling hope is cause for some excitement. This town could use some good news the way things have been going (via J.A. Adande):

DC blessed with Strasburg, RGIII and John Wall...and can't get full seasons out of any of them. Man.

— J.A. Adande (@jadande) January 9, 2013

Wall has made the best of a difficult situation. After being selected with the first overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft, the speedy point guard has flown mostly under the radar, yielding impressive production for a club that's struggled through losing records and seemingly constant change.

All the same, the good attitude has been there (via John Wall):

Thankful for another day !! #Blessed

— John Wall (@John_Wall) January 12, 2013


Happy to be back on the court wit my team and to have my MOM there...#wiznation !!

— John Wall (@John_Wall) January 13, 2013

And, so have the outfits (via the Washington Wizards):

'@john_wall will be trading in his suit for a jersey tonight... to pay tribute here are some of Wall's best outfits:…

— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) January 12, 2013

Of course, the real takeaway from Wall's return is that the Wizards' young core is finally intact. Wall averaged 16.3 points and eight assists last season, a solid display for a guy who'd yet to turn 22 years old.

Looking to give Wall some help, Washington drafted shooting guard Bradley Beal this summer. In theory, the young backcourt could become one of the league's most formidable in time. In practice, we'll only now get a sense of what these two can do together (via Jeff Zillgitt):

John Wall to Bradley Beal for a dunk. That's what Wizards and Wiz fans have waited four months to see. WAS 27, ATL 17 after 1Q.

— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) January 13, 2013

As excited as fans are to see what happens next, the rest of the NBA will have to pay a little more attention to those Wizards games dotting their schedules. This team won't scare anyone just yet, but opposing point guards will have their work cut out for them.

At least one guy from outside the Wizards organization is happy to see Wall back—former Kentucky teammate DeMarcus Cousins:

Happy my brother @john_wall back on the court doing what he loves ...

— demarcus cousins(@boogiecousins) January 13, 2013

We'll second that sentiment.