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The Hustle Report: Dusty Hannahs is on fire

The Hustle respond nicely to the absence of Brandon Goodwin

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

Week 5 Results

South Bay Lakers 96 @ Memphis Hustle 94 (5-5)

Memphis Hustle (5-6) 109 @ Iowa Wolves 114

Grand Rapids Drive 93 @ Memphis Hustle 109 (6-6)

Week 5 Headlines

  • Hustle sign Jarvis Varnado
  • Ivan Rabb gets assigned to Hustle after Joakim Noah signing
  • Hustle host first Hustle & Hounds game

Game 10 Breakdown

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Markel Crawford- 23 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals
  • Dusty Hannahs- 20 points
  • Kyle Casey- 12 points, 9 rebounds, 5 blocks
  • Jevon Carter- 10 points, 8 rebonds, 2 steals

The Hustle dropped a nailbiter against the South Bay Lakers in the first half of the first back-to-back of the season. It was the first game without Brandon Goodwin who signed a deal with the Denver Nuggets. Markel Crawford and Dusty Hannahs stepped up big time in Goodwins absence but it wasn’t enough to overcome the 40 combined points from Isaac Bonga and Memphian Johnathan Williams. The loss stings, but the Hustle played admirably recovering from the loss of Goodwin.

Game 11 Breakdown

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Tyler Harvey- 27 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal
  • Dusty Hannahs- 21 points, 3 assists
  • Kyle Casey- 13 points, 6 rebounds
  • Doral Moore- 12 points, 6 rebounds
  • Yuta Watanabe- 11 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists

The Hustle had to fly up to Iowa to take on the Wolves immediately following their loss to the Lakers and dropped the second game of the back-to-back. The Hustle put up an admirable effort despite the loss, but couldn’t overcome 27 points from Keita Bates-Diop who was on assignment from Minnesota. Tyler Harvey had his best game in a Hustle uniform and Dusty Hannahs continued to step up his game in the absence of Brandon Goodwin. The Hustle just wore down at the end of the game, helping the Wolves squeak out the win. It’s also worth noting the Hustle were without Jevon Carter against the Wolves, as Carter was with the Grizzlies.

Game 12 Breakdown

NBA: New York Knicks at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Key Stats

  • Dusty Hannahs- 25 points, 2 rebounds
  • Ivan Rabb- 21 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals
  • D.J. Stephens- 12 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists
  • Jevon Carter- 10 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals

The Hustle snapped their 2-game losing with a dominant effort against the Grand Rapids Drive on the inaugural Hustle & Hounds night. I was in attendance to see the doggone good game along with all the good doggies there. You can check out my recap here.

MVP of the Week - Dusty Hannahs

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

I’ll be the first to admit I was not expecting Dusty Hannahs to be the MVP of the Week this week. With Goodwin in Denver, I expected Jevon Carter to take on an even larger work load and someone like Yuta Watanabe step up and replace Goodwin’s production. However, Brad Jones and the Hustle will gladly take Dusty’s dominance over the past 3 games. Dusty has averaged 22 points on 44% shooting from beyond the arc.

Hustle Stats

10: Jevon Carter has struggled to find his shot in the two games he’s played in since Goodwin was signed by the Nuggets. Carter is averaging only 10 points on 26% shooting (15% from beyond the arc). Despite the lack of scoring, Carter has helped the Hustle in other ways, mainly on the glass averaging 7.5 rebounds last week. Carter continues to be a menace on the defensive end averaging 3 steals last week. It’s good to see Carter be effective even when the shot isn’t falling.

14.8%: I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a big advanced stat nerd like some NBA blog boys can be, but it is a little surprising that Yuta Watanabe has the lowest usage rate of any player on the Hustle who has played more than 10 games. Yuta’s usage is only 14.8%, which is surprising considering he’s one of the more talented players on the Hustle roster. Look for Brad Jones to get Yuta more involved as the season progresses.

80.2%: The Hustle currently lead the G-League in free-throw percentage, granted it’s on only 21 attempts a game. Considering how bad to mediocre both the Grizzlies and Memphis Tigers have been over the decade at shooting free throws, it’s good to see one Memphis team excel at it. Only way this would be better is if the Hustle got to the line more often.

Week 5 Grade - B

A 1-2 week for Brad Jones and company isn’t great, but they were competitive in the two losses, and would have hypothetically won the game in Iowa if Jevon Carter had been available. The ability to remain resilient in the loss of Goodwin says a lot about the depth of this team and the work Brad Jones has done. The Hustle got blown out regularly early last season so it’s nice to see them be competitive even in the losses. Brad Jones will get the benefit of the doubt from me.

Week 6 Preview

NBA: Dallas Mavericks-Media Day Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Memphis Hustle @ Austin Spurs (7-5) 12/8 7 PM CT

Texas Legends (6-7) @ Memphis Hustle 12/10 7 PM CT

The Hustle will be able to get some rest this week as they only have two games over the next 7 days. In the first matchup, the Hustle will face off against an Austin Spurs team looking to respond after being blown out 132-86 in the first matchup of the season. The Spurs will be without their leading scorer, Jaron Blossomgame, who recently signed a two-way contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Spurs won’t be an easy victory though, as the San Antonio system seems to produce quality basketball no matter the talent.

The Hustle will then return home to face off against the Texas Legends in their first matchup of the season. The Legends are led by Daryl Macon and his nearly 22 points per game. The Legends also recently added former Memphis Tiger and Hustle player Trahson Burrell. Burrell played well for the Hustle last season before being let go by the team midway through the season. Scoring on this Legends team will be tough for the Hustle, as Kostas Antetokoumpo is a pesky defender that will surely bother the Hustle.

The Hustle will have to work hard, but a 2-0 week is attainable if they can play similar to their effort against the Drive. It also wouldn’t hurt if the Grizzlies keep Rabb down in Southaven.

Stay safe Memphis.

Follow @sbnGrizzlies