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The Hustle Report: Recapping week 12 of the Hustle’s inaugural season

Hustle avoid sweep by defeating the OKC Blue

NBA G-League Showcase - Lakeland Magic v Memphis Hustle Photo by Randy Belice/NBAE via Getty Images

Week 12 Results

Memphis Hustle (12-18) 103 @ Oklahoma City Blue 98

Week 12 Storylines

Game 30 Breakdown

NBA G-League Showcase - Lakeland Magic v Memphis Hustle Photo by Randy Belice/NBAE via Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Trahson Burrell- 25 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals
  • Kobi Simmons- 25 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists
  • Marquis Teague- 25 points, 2 rebounds, 6 assists
  • Chance Comanche- 11 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks

The Hustle avoided a sweep at the hands of the division leading OKC Blue with a great win Sunday afternoon. There were 10 lead changes throughout the game, with the Hustle down after the 3rd quarter. However a quick run to start the 4th gave the Hustle a lead they would hold the rest of the game. Kobi Simmons got back on track with his solid production, and Trahson Burrell and Marquis Teague continue their excellent play. Former Blue and current Grizzly two-way player Myke Henry was with the Grizzlies and unavailable for the contest. The Blue are a dynamic scoring team and the Hustle showed some defensive improvement holding them under 100 points.

MVP of the Week - Coach Cyprien

2017-18 Memphis Hustle Media Day Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

With only one game to analyze, and choosing between the top 3 from that game difficult, I’ve decided to give Coach Cyprien a well-deserved (and long overdue) MVP of the Week honor. With the extended time off, Coach Cyp got the Hustle’s defense fixed enough to slow down a high-powered offense. Bryce Alford averaged 24.3 points against the Hustle going into Sunday’s matchup but was held to just 9 points. The team could have easily come out rusty and lost this game to a good team after being off for so long, but Coach got them ready and they stepped up to the challenge.

Coach Cyprien (and Grizzlies FO) also waived Jordon Crawford so that he could pursue opportunities overseas to play. Good look for Coach to allow a solid player to pursue his dreams elsewhere.

Numbers to Know

29.7: The Hustle have shot nearly 30 3-point attempts per game in 2018, which is about 5 more than their season average. The higher volume in shot attempts hasn’t resulted in a dip in percentage as the Hustle are actually shooting a couple of percentage points higher than their season average of 38.5%. The hot shooting will need to continue for the Hustle with games coming up against high-scoring offenses.

6.5: The Western Conference in the G-League is very competitive. Despite having the second worst record in the conference, the Hustle are only 6.5 games behind the first place Texas Legends. The G-League playoff format is division champions and then the next best two records. The Hustle are only 4.5 games back from the division leading Wolves. so the Hustle are still in the playoff hunt, which is exceptional considering it’s the first ever season for this team.

6.3: Other teams have been having a block party when they play the Hustle in 2018. In 7 games so far, the Hustle are getting 6.3 shots blocked per game which is the 3rd highest average in the G-League. The biggest problem with shots getting blocked is that it causes the Hustle to focus more on the outside game. As previously mentioned, the Hustle are shooting well from beyond the arc but they don’t need to rely on the 3 point shot to win games. They need to go stronger to the basket and take better angles to avoid getting blocked. If they are getting blocked often, they don’t need to get discouraged and still need to drive in the line to create open shot opportunities for others.

Week 12 Grade - A

G-League Showcase - Memphis Hustle v Maine Red Claws Photo by A.J. Messier/NBAE via Getty Images

The Hustle won a game they weren’t expected to win. They got some well deserved time off to rest, get healthy, and practice. There should be no complaints about how the past 7 days have gone for the team. The win over the Blue brought the Hustle within 4.5 games of the lead in the division. Staying competitive in the division for as long as possible would be great for the teams first season.

Week 13 Preview

Greensboro Swarm v Texas Legends Photo by Randy Belice/NBAE via Getty Images

Fort Wayne Mad Ants (17-13) @ Memphis Hustle 1/27 7 PM CT

Texas Legends (18-11) @ Memphis Hustle 1/29 10:30 AM CT

Rio Grande Valley Vipers (19-12) @ Memphis Hustle 1/31 7 PM CT

Game 31 Preview: The Hustle start off a tough 3-game home stand against one of the Eastern Conference’s better teams in the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. The Mad Ants are lead by Walter Lemon Jr’s 22.4 points per game and have 3 other players averaging over 12 points per game. The key in this game will be if the Hustle can dominate on the boards. The Hustle are a top 5 rebounding team while the Mad Ants are in the bottom 5. If the Hustle can out rebound the Mad Ants, they should be able to capitalize on second chance opportunities as well as limit those opportunities for the Mad Ants.

Game 32 Preview: Fresh off a 30 point, 5 rebound, 6 assist outing last week, Wade Baldwin IV will make his Memphis return when the Legends play the Hustle Monday morning. The Legends currently lead the Western Conference standings and are the second highest scoring team in the G-League, while being the best rebounding team. The Hustle held their own in the first matchup but shooting 25% from 3 ultimately doomed the team after a poor 1st quarter. With a 10:30 AM tipoff, the team who jumps out to the early lead will likely be the victor. It’s important the Hustle come out ready to play in this earlier than normal game.

Game 33 Preview: The Hustle will continue their homestand attempting to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. The Vipers are the highest scoring team in the G-League. The Hustle have given up, on average, 144.3 points per game against the Vipers this season so the defense will need to step up in a big way. The Vipers are one of the more established teams in the G-League and are an unstoppable force when they’re feeling it. The Hustle will need to frustrate the Vipers and not allow easy shots if they want to avoid the sweep.

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