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The Hustle Report: Recapping the Final Week of the Hustle’s Inaugural Season

Hustle end the season on a high-note, going 4-1 in last 5 games

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Week 21 Results

South Bay Lakers 118 @ Memphis Hustle 141 (21-28)

Memphis Hustle (21-29) 103 @ Texas Legends 111

Week 21 Storylines

Game 49 Breakdown

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Key Stats

  • Omari Johnson- 26 points
  • J.J. Frazier- 23 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists
  • Myke Henry- 23 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists
  • Shaquille Thomas- 20 points, 7 rebounds
  • Dusty Hannahs- 18 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists

The Hustle dominated the South Bay Lakers in their final home game of the season. The victory was one of the biggest blowout wins of the year for the Hustle, and also helped drop the Lakers from the 2-seed to the 6-seed in the Western Conference playoffs. J.J. Frazier stepped up his game with both Marquis Teague and Kobi Simmons with the Grizzlies. You can check out Mac Trammell’s full recap of the game here.

Game 50 Breakdown

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Key Stats

  • Omari Johnson- 30 points, 6 rebounds
  • Dusty Hannahs- 17 points, 6 assists
  • Myke Henry- 16 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists
  • J.J. Frazier, 14 points, 9 rebounds, 10 assists
  • Chance Comanche- 12 points, 15 rebounds

The Hustle dropped their final game of the season against the Texas Legends on Saturday. The Hustle started off rusty, and tired, after getting into Texas earlier in the morning and were down 8 at the end of the first. The game was pretty even throughout the rest of the game, but the slow first quarter dug the Hustle a hole they couldn’t climb out of. It was another monster game from Omari Johnson, as well as J.J. Frazier who turned into an offensive animal the last two games, nearly recording a triple-double against the Legends (here is where I am required, by law, to remind you that J.J. is listed as 5’10’’).

Despite the loss, the Hustle finished the season on a high note competing to the final seconds with a team without some of it’s best players due to injury and call ups.

MVP of the Week - Omari Johnson

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Omari Johnson continued his offensive dominance in the absence of Marquis Teague. Omari averaged 28 points and was the go-to option on the offensive end. It was nice to see Omari get most of the spotlight the last weekend of games after playing second-fiddle to Teague all season. Omari is so humble, he probably would rather Teague have all the attention, anyways. A great week by a great player to wrap up the season.

Numbers to Know

39.4%: Thanks in large part to their blowout win over the Lakers, the Hustle finished the season with the highest 3-point field goal percentage in the G-League. For a team that started off the year ice-cold from deep, it was a nice turnaround and the 3-point shot single-handedly won them some games. The 3-point shooting was lead by Dusty Hannahs’ whose 44.1% was good for 5th in the G-League on the year, while Omari Johnson’s 41% places him in the top-15 as well.

6: The Hustle had 6 players average over 15 points per game this past season (minimum 10 games played). Marquis and Omari played the most games, but Myke, Kobi, Ivan Rabb and Vince Hunter also showed the ability to score at a high level when they were with the Hustle. In a perfect world, the Grizzlies will have a better season next year and the Hustle will be beneficiaries of that by getting more games out of some of the younger Grizz.

12.5: I’ll give you one guess on who has the highest net-rating on the Hustle (minimum 10 games) this season. You’re probably thinking Omari or Marquis right? Maybe Dusty or Austin Nichols? Nope. Mark Tyndale had the highest net-rating on the team with a 12.5. I’ve always thought that Mark was underrated on this Hustle team. He doesn’t score a bunch and doesn’t do anything flashy, but he players solid, tough defense and makes the right play on the offensive end. He’d probably lead the league in “hockey-assists” if the league kept up with that. Mark’s hard work did not go unnoticed, though, as he will soon be on his way to play ball in Mexico after getting a deal once the Hustle season concluded.

Week 21 Grade - A

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The Hustle’s complete domination of the Lakers earned them an A this week, no matter the Saturday result, although the competitiveness Saturday helped. The Lakers, although not at full strength, were completed dismantled as they were competing for a high seed in the playoffs. The team could have easily mailed in the season early, especially with Marquis getting the call up. Instead they came out firing and made the Lakers look terrible. They expectedly came out a little flat on Saturday but were able to turn around and keep the game competitive all night. A solid end to the season for the Hustle.

Season in Review

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The Hustle finished the season 21-29, but their play goes beyond that record. The beginning of the season was a little rough on the Hustle as they adjusted to playing with each other for the first time, as well as having players called up and down from the Grizzlies. Once February hit and the roster turnover slowed down, the Hustle played .500 ball, defeating some of the conferences best teams in route to a 4-1 finish to the season. If the Hustle had played .500 all season, they would have narrowly missed the playoffs.

The Hustle can look back and be happy with how the season went, despite the record. They were the youngest team in the league, and didn’t have the luxury that other teams had of having NBA players called down often, instead having many of their players called up. Nearly every single player on the roster improved from the beginning of the season to the end, which is really what you want in the long run in a developmental league. The hard work has paid off as Coach Cyprien confirmed that both J.J. Frazier (Italy) and Mark Tyndale (Mexico) got contracts to play in other professional basketball leagues after their play in the G-League.

It’s unclear what the Hustle roster will look like at the beginning of next season, but if the team can keep some of it’s core as well as get more games out of players they expected more time out of (two-way players, 2nd round pick) they should be able to improve upon their 21-29 record this season and fight for a playoff spot next year.

You can check out what some Hustle players and Coach Cyprien had to say at the end of season media availability here, as the players and coach did a great job recapping the Hustle’s inaugural season.

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