Week 10 Results
Oklahoma City Blue 116 @ Memphis Hustle 111 (10-15)
Memphis Hustle (10-16) 134 @ Rio Grande Valley Vipers 157
Week 10 Storylines
- Hustle blow lead against Blue
- Hustle defense disappears vs. the Vipers
- Team prepares for upcoming G-League Showcase
Game 25 Breakdown
- Vince Hunter- 23 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists
- Jordon Crawford- 19 points, 3 assists
- Durand Scott- 18 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists
- Trahson Burrell- 16 points, 16 rebounds, 6 assists
- Marquis Teague- 10 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists
The Hustle lead against the Blue the entire first half, but a strong 3rd quarter by Rashawn Thomas gave the Blue the lead and they would never relinquish. The Hustle did a good job keeping the game close, and nearly completing the comeback effort, but they’ve just been unable to find a way to stop the Blue offense. Bryce Alford went off for 20 points, to go with his other outstanding performances against the Hustle. Vince Hunter was a bright spot for the Hustle, playing well after being absent for the greater part of this season while spending a majority of his time with the Grizzlies. The loss dropped the Hustle to 0-3 on the season against the Blue, who now lead the division while the Hustle are in last. Mac Trammell was there for GBB, and you can check out his recap here.
Game 26 Breakdown
- Jordon Crawford- 24 points, 7 assists, 2 steals
- Chance Comanche- 22 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks
- Vince Hunter- 18 points, 10 rebounds, 3 steals
- Shaq Thomas- 15 points, 5 rebounds
- Trahson Burrell- 13 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists
The Hustle got obliterated by the Vipers thanks to a 50-30 2nd quarter for the Vipers. The Hustle’s defense just disappeared that quarter and helped the Vipers build a big enough lead where the game was never remotely in question. Jordon Crawford and Vince Hunter continued their excellent play, but the team had no means of slowing down the potent Vipers offense, lead by Demetrius Jackson and former Grizzly Tony Wroten. The game is especially disappointing because the Vipers were without Briante Weber and Troy Williams, who are two of their best players. The Hustle had a chance to get a hard fought win against a good team, but came out flat and never recovered.
MVP of the Week - Vince Hunter
Vince Hunter has played solid since returning from the Grizzlies and he was dominant this week averaging over 20 points and 12 rebounds per game. Vince was also a menace defensively grabbing 4 steals over the two contests. It’s good to see Vince able to step back in the Hustle rotation and play up to his standards, especially as Rabb continues to struggle with the up-and-down of being with both the Hustle and Grizzlies. Jordon Crawford gets an honorable mention MVP vote for his solid play this week. The 5’6’’ guard is electric on the court and a fun guy to watch and the box score is finally showing it.
Numbers to Know
116: The Hustle haven’t been known to have a great defense, but the defense was better earlier in the season. After the last few weeks the Hustle are back in the bottom five in opponents points per game, giving up 116 a game. The Hustle are a solid offensive team and can outscore their opponents on some nights, but the defense needs to step it up if they want to be consistent winners.
25: When the Hustle struggled earlier this season, I noted they had a problem staying out of foul trouble. Those troubles have returned in 2018 as the Hustle lead the league in the new year, committing 25 fouls a game. Limiting the fouls and opponents free throw attempts will go a long way in helping the Hustle defense slow down their opponent.
20: Another problem the Hustle had early in the season was taking care of the ball and 2018 hasn’t been kind on that front either. The Hustle have turned the ball over, on average, 20 times a game in 2018. This allows their opponents to run out and get easy fast-break points.
4: Jeremy Morgan made his return against the Blue after missing over a month due to a right knee injury. The knee injury looked like it could’ve been season ending so it was good to see Morgan come in the game and play 4 minutes and knock down a 3, which sent the bench into a frenzy. Morgan followed that game up with 20 minutes and 5 points against the Vipers. It was good to see him back and healthy.
Week 10 Grade - D
It wasn’t a good week for the Hustle. They blew the lead against OKC, who isn’t a bad team, but the game was definitely winnable. The Blue were without triple-double threat Daniel Hamilton and should have been able to steal a victory after leading the first half. That game, followed by a blowout loss to a Vipers team without some of it’s best players leads to the Hustle’s worst grade of the season.
Week 11 Preview
Lakeland Magic (13-10) @ Memphis Hustle 1/11 (Tonight!) 7:30 PM CT @ Hershey Centre in Ontario, Canada
Memphis Hustle @ Maine Red Claws (12-11) 1/13 3 PM CT @ Mississauga SportZone Complex in Ontario, Canada
Memphis Hustle @ Texas Legends (12-12) 1/16 7 PM CT (Hustle first Twitch game of season)
Game 27 Preview: The Hustle’s first game in the G-League showcase is against the Magic, who are lead by Rodney Purvis, a rookie out of UCONN who averages 20 points a game. The Magic are a solid team and although they don’t score in bunches, they are top 5 in the league in opponents points per game, holding their foes to barely over 100 points a contest. The Hustle offense will need to execute for them to stand a chance, as it’s likely the Hustle defense allows the Magic offense to get more than it typically does.
Game 28 Preview: The Hustle will play their second game in the G-League showcase against the Maine Red Claws who are one of the most average teams in the G-League. They’re middle of the pack in nearly every statistical category, but the Hustle should be able to dominate the boards as the Red Claws aren’t great at rebounding, while the Hustle lead the G-League in rebounds per game. The Red Claws did just acquire former #1 overall pick Anthony Bennett, but as long as the Hustle can slow down Abdel Nader and Jabari Bird (if they play) then the Hustle should be able to grab a victory over the Red Claws on the back of their great rebounding.
Game 29 Preview: The Hustle will leave the Showcase and make a trip to Texas to face off against the Texas Legends in what should be a high-scoring affair. The main attraction in this game will Wade Baldwin IV. The Grizzlies cut Baldwin after training camp and he’s sure to play with a chip on his shoulder in what seems like a perfect revenge game for him. He’s played well since healing from an injury early in the season, averaging nearly 18 points a game. The Legends score a lot of points and rebound the ball as well as the Hustle, so whoever wins the rebounding battle will likely win the game.
The main storyline to watch at the Showcase is Kobi Simmons, who re-joined the Hustle for those games in Canada. Here’s to hoping his time with the Grizzlies built his confidence and he has terrific showings.