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The Hustle Report: Recapping week 15 of the Hustle’s inaugural season

Hustle go winless in a disappointing week

Texas Legends v Memphis Hustle Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Week 15 Results

Agua Caliente Clippers 122 @ Memphis Hustle 116 (15-22)

Memphis Hustle (15-23) 113 @ Grand Rapids Drive 122

Memphis Hustle (15-24) 102 @ Sioux Falls SkyForce 125

Week 15 Storylines

Game 37 Breakdown

Memphis Hustle v Canton Charge Photo by Allison Farrand/NBAE via Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Jeremy Morgan- 23 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals
  • Kobi Simmons- 22 points, 3 assists
  • Omari Johnson- 16 points, 6 rebounds
  • Marquis Teague- 14 points, 7 assists
  • Myke Henry- 14 points, 5 rebounds

The Hustle dropped a close matchup against the Agua Caliente Clippers last Friday despite a career high 23 points from Jeremy Morgan. It was an exciting up and down, high scoring game that saw both teams combine for 28 3-pointers. However, the Hustle got themselves in foul trouble all game and allowed the Clippers to shoot 41 free throws to the Hustle’s 13. Ultimately, that was the difference in the game. Check out my full recap from that game here.

Game 38 Breakdown

Memphis Hustle v South Bay Lakers Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Dusty Hannahs- 24 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals
  • Kobi Simmons- 21 points, 8 assists
  • Shaquille Thomas- 20 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks
  • Omari Johnson- 15 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists
  • Austin Nichols- 12 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 steals

The short-handed Hustle fell the Drive from Grand Rapids Sunday afternoon after giving up an 18 point lead. The Hustle lead the entire first half but a 41 point 3rd quarter helped the Drive get back in the game before eventually running away with it in the 4th quarter. The Hustle were without Jeremy Morgan and Marquis Teague, who were suspended for their roles in an altercation last week. Dusty Hannahs and Shaq Thomas did their best to step up in the absence of the two starters, but ultimately the team ran out of gas.

Game 39 Breakdown

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

Key Stats

  • Marquis Teague- 24 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals
  • Omari Johnson- 20 points, 5 rebounds
  • Brice Johnson- 17 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
  • Kobi Simmons- 8 points, 2 steals
  • Myke Henry- 8 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals

The Hustle dropped their fourth game in a row as they fell to the Sioux Falls SkyForce in blowout fashion on Tuesday night. The Hustle were lead by Marquis Teague, Omari Johnson and Brice Johnson but got little help from the rest of the team as nobody else scored in double figures. Defense continues to be the issue for the Hustle, as they’ve given up 120 points in all three losses this week. The SkyForce were lead by Derrick Walton Jr and Derrick Jones Jr., who combined for 41 points. The loss dropped the Hustle to 1-2 against the SkyForce this season, with a March match-up the Hustle’s chance to split the season series.

MVP of the Week - Omari Johnson

Salt Lake City Stars v Memphis Hustle Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

OJ was the most consistent Hustle player this week, earning him back-to-back MVP honors. He averaged 17 points and 7.3 rebounds while shooting 47% from the field. He’s been one of the most consistent players for the Hustle this season, when available. OJ, along with Marquis Teague, have provided the Hustle great veteran leadership throughout the year.

Numbers to Know

15.8: Dusty Hannahs’ doesn’t always get a ton of minutes in games, but when given minutes he typically performs well. Dusty is averaging 15.8 points a game per 36 minutes and has averaged 13 points in games he’s played 20 or more minutes in. Dusty is a streaky shooter, but when his shot is falling, he’s a great contributor to the team. Fortunately, some of his best performances have come when the team has been shorthanded.

1.9: I mentioned a few weeks ago that Austin Nichols was stepping it up on the defensive end, blocking and deflecting opponents shots. Nichols is up to averaging 1.9 blocks per game, which ranks him 8th in the G-League in that category. Teams are starting to recognize Nichols ability and are trying to force him out of the paint. He’s adjusted and been able to continue being a factor down low.

121.8: In their 24 losses, the Hustle have allowed their opponents to average 121.8 points per game. The Hustle are a high-scoring team themselves, but they only average 112.4 points per game. The Hustle defense has been inconsistent all season and typically when the defense struggles, the Hustle lose.

Week 15 Grade - C

Memphis Hustle v Canton Charge Photo by Allison Farrand/NBAE via Getty Images

Going 0-3 in a week that didn’t feature a terribly tough schedule is a little disheartening after last weeks solid performance. The Hustle kept things close against the Clippers and Drive before getting blown out by the SkyForce. The team played well against a few factors going against the team against the Clippers and Drive but it would be nice to see more consistency from this team.

Week 16 Preview

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

Northern Arizona Suns (17-19) @ Memphis Hustle 2/21 7 PM CT

Game 40 Preview: The Hustle have a light schedule this coming week, having 8 days off between games before they host the Northern Arizona Suns. The Hustle previously defeated the Suns 120-108 on New Year’s Eve and can clinch a season series win with a victory on Wednesday. Defense will be the biggest factor in this game, as the Suns average the third most points in the G-League at 117.6 a game. The Hustle were able to contain the Suns in their first matchup, but it will take another strong performance to slow down the trio of Danuel House, Xavier Silas and Alec Peters.

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