The Phoenix Suns finally enjoyed a statement win on Thursday night, as they finally beat the Los Angeles Lakers at the fourth time of asking this season. The victory made all the sweeter as it happened in L.A. and came off the back of one of the Suns' worst losses of the season to the Clippers earlier in the week in the same building.
This game was a look into just how good a fully healthy Suns team can be, with Bradley Beal breaking out to the tune of a game high 37 points, making a blistering 8-of-10 shots from deep in the process. So good were the Suns, that they were able to absorb the deadeye marksman Grayson Allen having an off night from 3-point range, missing some wide open looks and making 1-of-6 attempts.
There was another interesting development at this game however, with former All-Star point guard John Wall taking in proceedings courtside.
It makes sense why Wall would be here. He last played for the Clippers and so has ties to Los Angeles, while he and Beal were teammates together when they both suited up for the Washington Wizards. With Suns diehard Emma Stone also in attendance - and literally notifying the team when she was leaving - there is nothing out of the ordinary with Wall showing up here.
Or is there? We're not going to speculate as to the needs of the Lakers here, but it is clear they have many. At 33-years-old and with that franchise being linked to Dejounte Murray to try and help them out of the funk they find themselves in, they could do worse than kick the tyres on a player who now has the benefit of some sobering time spent out of the league.
The Lakers were able to get some juice out of center Dwight Howard in the past - and in fact he is a name the Suns should still be monitoring themselves as he plays in The Philippines - so they may think they can get something out of Wall. Even if it is running a second unit for them which has been poor so far this season.
But perhaps Wall was there so as to get some face time with the Suns? The team have spent considerable time in Los Angeles all week, and both Beal and Kevin Durant were quick to show Wall some love once the opportunity presented itself after playing the Lakers.
Earlier this season, Wall himself publicly expressed an interest in joining the Suns if the opportunity presented itself. On paper it makes sense, he has played with Beal before and this is a team that still looks like it could do with another veteran playmaker out there as this season winds on and they continue searching for wins.
But making a team on paper is exactly why the Suns find themselves where they are right now. Coming off their biggest win of the season no doubt, but still a disappointing 20-18, good for the eighth spot in the Western Conference. So yes on paper adding Wall makes sense because he helps to fill a positional need, but this isn't 2K, and championships aren't won in this way either.
Complicating matters further is just who the Suns would cut in order to bring Wall onboard. Back in November when he first floated the idea, Bol Bol wasn't playing and Chimezie Metu and Keita Bates-Diop hadn't done much either. Yet Bol again saw minutes against the Lakers, his first game back after two missed because of an ankle issue.
Metu has had his moments, while Bates-Diop and even Udoka Azubuike have contributed some. Jordan Goodwin is the other natural point guard on the roster - and although he is limited in what he can bring to this group - he is a much better defender than Wall at that position. He's also younger and much more willing to put his body anywhere to help the cause on the defensive end.
So it becomes not just a matter of deciding to add Wall, but also cutting somebody else to make that happen. Head coach Frank Vogel had the luxury of going deep into his bench - such was the manner in which they were hammering the Lakers - and he used no fewer than 14 players. It is hard to see who Wall would have jumped in that pecking order for minutes.
So while there are many twists and turns to come this season for the Suns - and Wall is by no means the worst direction the organization could go down the road - the win against the Lakers did the player no favors. This was the Suns at their best, with Beal and Devin Booker creating for the team, and the last thing it looked like they needed was an ageing guy like Wall clogging up proceedings.