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

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

Fans noticed.

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):

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):

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

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):

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:

We'll second that sentiment.

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