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The Hustle Report: Recapping week 16 of the Hustle’s inaugural season

Hustle fall to the Suns despite Omari Johnson’s career high

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies-Media Day Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Week 16 Results

Northern Arizona Suns 120 @ Memphis Hustle 119 (15-25)

Week 16 Storylines

Game 40 Breakdown

Chicago Bulls v New York Knicks

Key Stats

  • Omari Johnson- 30 points, 7 rebounds
  • Myke Henry- 26 points, 8 points, 2 assists
  • Marquis Teague- 19 points, 5 rebounds 7 assists
  • Kobi Simmons- 12 points, 7 assists
  • Dusty Hannahs- 10 points

The Hustle dropped a nail biter in their first game since the G-League All Star Break despite Omari Johnson’s career high 30 points and a Hustle franchise record 8 three pointers. Johnson was helped by Myke Henry’s 26 points and scoring 10 points straight at one point in the fourth quarter. Danuel House lead the Suns with 28 points. You can catch GBB’s Mac Trammell and his full recap of last night’s game here.

MVP of the Week - Omari Johnson

Pac-10 Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

With only one game this week, Omari Johnson get’s his 3rd consecutive MVP of the Week honors as he lead the Hustle with his career high 30 point night last night. Johnson has been on a hot streak ever since he came back from injury and his ability to space the floor on offense as a small ball 5 is something Coach Cyp has been using more lately and it’s been effective.

Numbers to Know

991: The Hustle have allowed their opponents to shoot a total of 991 free throws over the first half of the season, which is the third highest in the G-League. I’ve mentioned on The Hustle Report numerous times how the team has a foul problem, but it’s even worse when considering they are giving up so many free throws to opposing teams. One thing in particular I’ve witnessed is the team gives up weak fouls and allows and-1 opportunities way too often on the fast-break. If you’re going to foul someone on a fast break layup attempt, you need to make sure to impact the shot enough to force a miss, without injuring the other player of course. The weak fouls the Hustle give up are allowing easy points for the other teams.

6: In 20 home games so far this season, the Hustle have only mustered 6 wins in front of the Southaven faithful. While that number is lower than the team and fans would like, the fans have been treated to some thrilling games. They’ve seen 2 buzzer beaters, as well as a handful of other games that have been one possession games in the final minutes. The Hustle have lost a ton of close games at home and will hopefully turn their home woes around this weekend before they hit the road.

32: Over the All-Star Break, the Hustle acquired G Mark Tyndale, the 32 year old out of Temple. Tyndale’s most recently played for the Reno Bighorns last season in the G-League averaging 3.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. Tyndale doesn’t shoot the ball much (averaged less than 3 shots last year) but does a lot of other things to keep the ball moving on offense. Tyndale is now the oldest member of the Hustle and he’ll likely bring a veteran presence to the team.

Week 16 Grade - B

The Hustle came out flat against the Suns, which can be expected coming off such a long break, and had their comeback attempt come up just short. It’s worrisome that the Hustle give the opposition a big lead and have to come back each game, but the Suns feature a star-studded team with guys with NBA experience. Archie Goodwin and Lavoy Allen may not have been able to keep their NBA careers going, but that experience helped lead the Suns against the young and experience Hustle. Despite the record, Coach Cyp keeps his team competitive night in and out, deserving of a B this week.

Week 17 Preview

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Sacramento Kings Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Reno Bighorns (21-16) @ Memphis Hustle 2/24 12 PM CT

Memphis Hustle @ South Bay Lakers (23-14) 2/28 9 PM CT

Game 41 Preview: The Hustle will wrap up their two game home-stand with a matinee game against the Reno Bighorns, who they have lost to twice already this season. The Bighorns are leady by G-League All Stars in Aaron Harrison and David Stockton. The Hustle have had a difficult time containing both players. The Bighorns currently rank 3rd in the G-League in rebounds per game while the Hustle rank 5th. It’s likely the team who wins the rebounding battle, wins this game.

Game 42 Preview: The Hustle will then fly out west to face off against the South Bay Lakers looking to avenge their 5 point loss back in mid-December. The Lakers are lead by All Star Travis Wear and are one of the best offensive teams in the league. They currently rank in the top 5 in points, rebounds and assists per game. The Hustle defense will need to have worked on their defense over the break to slow down the high-powered Lakers offense. Coincidentally, the Lakers are the team ranked in between the Bighorns and Hustle in rebounds per game (4th) so this could be another game where rebounding decides the outcome.

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