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The Hustle Report: A rough start

Hustle stumble out to an 0-2 start to the season

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

Week 1 Results

Memphis Hustle (0-1) 103 @ Rio Grande Valley Vipers 119

Memphis Hustle (0-2) 125 @ Sioux Falls Skyforce 126

Week 1 Storylines

  • Brad Jones’ Debut as head coach
  • Brandon Goodwin dominates
  • Yuta Fever!

Game 1 Breakdown

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies-Media Day Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Key Stats

  • Brandon Goodwin- 29 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists
  • Markel Crawford- 18 points, 2 assists, 2 steals
  • Tanner McGrew- 16 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists
  • Jevon Carter- 9 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals

The Hustle fell to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in their season opener, getting destroyed by the Rockets G-League affiliate. The Vipers jumped out to a 10 point lead early in the second quarter and never looked back behind Brandon Sampson and Danuel House who combined for 47 points. The Hustle, led by Brandon Goodwin, couldn’t get stops on the defensive end to keep the game close. The Hustle shot a putrid 23.5% (8/34) from beyond the arc compared to the 37.1% (13/35) that the Vipers made. The loss is a disappointing way to start the season, although not unexpected considering all the turnover from the Hustle offseason.

Game 2 Breakdown

NBA: Preseason-Memphis Grizzlies at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Key Stats

  • Jevon Carter- 29 points, 6 assists, 6 steals
  • Brandon Goodwin- 27 points, 5 assists, 3 steals
  • Dusty Hannahs- 17 points, 4 rebounds
  • Tyler Harvey- 15 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists

The Hustle fell to 0-2 on the season after a deflating loss to the Skyforce of Sioux Falls. Dusty Hannahs hit a 3 to put the Hustle ahead with 15.9 seconds left in the game, but was answered with a Duncan Robinson 3 to give the lead back to the Skyforce with 9.2 seconds left. Robinson’s 3 proved to be the game winning basket. Yante Maten lead the Skyforce with 34 points and 12 rebounds, while Duncan Robinson contributed 29 points of his own. It was a much better showing for the Hustle, hanging tough with a good team in the Skyforce.

MVP of the Week - Brandon Goodwin

NBA: Summer League-Philadelphia 76ers at Memphis Grizzlies Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Goodwin is easily the Hustle’s MVP of the week with two great offensive showings. Goodwin’s ability to score points, as well as facilitate to his teammates will make the loss of Marquis Teague much more manageable for the Hustle. Goodwin’s solid performance so far will make Hustle fans feel better once Jevon Carter starts spending more time with the Grizzlies.

Hustle Stats

(Formerly known as “Numbers to Know” before I realized Hustle Stats sounded so much better)

1: The Hustle have one returning player from last year’s team in Dusty Hannahs. The total roster reconstruction, as well as adapting to new coach Brad Jones, means the Hustle might struggle early in the season as the team adjusts to playing alongside one another.

9: Known for his defense coming out of West Virginia, Jevon Carter is already making a name for himself in the G-League, racking up 9 steals in just two contests. Carters 4.5 steals per game is likely the league leading number so far this season.

26: The Hustle are currently 3rd in the G-League averaging 26 assists per game. The Hustle averaged a moderate 23 assists per game last year, but often resorted to iso-ball in the clutch moments of a game. If the game against Sioux Falls was a preview of what’s to come, the Hustle will be more deadly with iso-ball and their facilitation in the clutch moments of a game.

Week 1 Grade - B

An 0-2 start to the season isn’t great, but I’m giving Brad Jones and the team the benefit of the doubt considering all the turnover they have experienced. The team responded well to a disappointing opening game by nearly defeating one of the better teams in the G-League. An 0-2 week won’t get a B grade often in this column, but all things considered it hasn’t been a terrible start for the Hustle.

Week 2 Preview

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Phoenix Suns Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Rio Grande Valley Vipers (1-0) @ Memphis Hustle 11/9 7 PM CT

Austin Spurs (0-1) @ Memphis Hustle 11/11 3 PM CT

Windy City Bulls (1-2) @ Memphis Hustle 11/14 7 PM CT

The Hustle will tip off their second season in Southaven with a 3 game home stand, starting with the same Vipers team that beat them the first game of the season. The Hustle will need to be much better defensively and contain the likes of Danuel House and Brandon Simpson to compete against the Vipers.

The Hustle will then face off against the Austin Spurs on Sunday. Containing Jaron Blossomgame will be critical in defeating a well coached Spurs team. It’s also the first time Brad Jones will coach against the Spurs (formerly the Toros) where he won a championship in 2012 as the head coach. Fun fact: DeJuan Blair plays for the Spurs and is somehow only 29 years old, further proving the Spurs organization knows the whereabouts of the Fountain of Youth.

The Hustle will wrap up their homestand with a matchup against the Windy City Bulls, who are lead by the 5’8” Tyler Ulis. Although Ulis couldn’t make it in the NBA, he’s played well so far in the G-League averaging over 20 points per game. The Hustle will likely stick Jevon Carter on Ulis to limit his production. Former Memphis Tiger Ferrakohn Hall plays for the Bulls, and is a solid contributor as well.

With the 3 basketball teams in the area, it can be difficult to keep up with everything going on with the Grizzlies, Tigers and Hustle. Stay tuned for these weekly updates for all your Hustle coverage, and as usual stick with GBB for all things Grizzlies.

It’s good to be back, Memphis.

Follow @sbnGrizzlies