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The Hustle Report: All good things end

Josh Jackson gets suspended and the Hustle finally catch an L in a busy week

Memphis Hustle v Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

Week 5 Results

Memphis Hustle (10-0) 130 @ Northern Arizona Suns 104

Memphis Hustle (10-1) 118 @ South Bay Lakers 125

Memphis Hustle (11-1) 111 @ Agua Caliente Clippers 92

Sioux Falls Skyforce 95 @ Memphis Hustle 107 (12-1)

Week 5 Headlines

  • Hustle break G-League record with 10-0 start to season
  • Hustle undefeated streak broken after 10-0 start
  • Josh Jackson suspended for missing team meeting
  • John Konchar returns from injury

Game 10 Breakdown

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

Key Stats

  • Josh Jackson- 30 points, 6 rebounds, 1 steal
  • Dusty Hannahs- 29 points, 3 rebounds
  • Jarrod Uthoff- 20 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks
  • Ahmad Caver- 13 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals

The Hustle extended their hot streak to start the season to set G-League history by defeating the Northern Arizona Suns and moving to 10-0 on the year. Josh Jackson led the team in scoring, while Jarrod Uthoff contributed yet another superb all around performance. The Hustle as a team turned 13 offensive rebounds into 21 second chance points, which helped them build a big lead on the Suns and never look back. The win isn’t surprising, but it was good to see the Hustle dominate after the matchup with the Suns two days prior was much closer.

Game 11 Breakdown

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

Key Stats

  • Dusty Hannahs- 28 points, 2 rebounds
  • Josh Jackson- 21 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals
  • Matt Mooney- 19 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists
  • Ahmad Caver- 15 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals

The Hustle finally lost their first game of the season when they traveled to face off against the South Bay Lakers. The Hustle, down by as much as 22, led a furious 4th quarter comeback that ultimately fell just short. Longtime G-Leaguer Andre Ingram went off for the Lakers scoring 22 points behind four 3-pointers. The Hustle fought, but ultimately being on the road trip seemed to catch up to them as they looked sluggish early and ran out of gas during their run.

Game 12 Breakdown

Memphis Hustle v Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Marquis Teague- 25 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
  • Ahmad Caver- 21 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals
  • Jarrod Uthoff- 17 points, 7 rebounds
  • Matt Mooney- 16 points, 5 rebounds

The Hustle got back in the win column with a Monday matinee against the Agua Caliente Clippers. The organization announced Josh Jackson was suspended for the game after a violation of team rules which Yahoo’s Chris Haynes reports that Jackson missed a team meeting. No Jackson, no problem for the Hustle as Ahmed Caver continued his steady ascent into becoming a key player for the Hustle. Former Memphis Tiger and Hustle player Markel Crawford lit up the Hustle for 20 points on 7/8 shooting but it wasn’t enough to keep the Clippers close. It was good for the Hustle to come out and play well through their first bit of adversity on the season.

Game 13 Breakdown

Memphis Hustle v Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Marquis Teague- 27 points, 3 assists
  • Matt Mooney- 23 points, 5 assists, 4 steals
  • Ahmad Caver- 15 points, 4 rebounds
  • Jarrod Uthoff- 13 points, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 steals
  • John Konchar- 11 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists

The Hustle returned home for a one game home stand against Jeremiah Martin and the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Without Josh Jackson and Dusty Hannahs, the Hustle were led by Marquis Teague and Matt Mooney who led the Hustle offensively. You can check my full recap of the game here.

Standings Snapshot

Hustle Stats

13.2: Going into last night’s game against the Skyforce, Ahmad Caver had a solid last 5 games. With an increased role, Caver has scored 13.2 points per game, 3.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.8 steals per game. Caver has been a pleasant surprise for the Hustle as they’ve had to play without Yuta Watanabe, John Konchar and Josh Jackson over the last week.

19.5: As of Wednesday afternoon, the Hustle ranked 3rd in the G-League in fast break points per game averaging 19.5 per game on the season. The Hustle typically excel in an uptempo game, and scoring nearly 20 points per game on the break has been a key part in them able to dominate so far this season.

MVP of the Week - Matt Mooney

Sioux Falls Skyforce v Memphis Hustle Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

With Jackson being suspended and missing two games, we have our first non-Jackson MVP of the week in Matt Mooney. Mooney started the week out with a rough game against the Suns, but played really well in the remaining 3 games. Mooney’s impact doesn’t always show up in the box score, but he always seemingly scores at key moments in the game and has really proven to be a solid point guard for the Hustle. Mooney averaged 14.5 points per game on the week, picking up a handful of rebounds, assists and steals per game as well, proving how well-rounded of a player he is.

Week 5 Grade - B+

Oklahoma City Blue v Memphis Hustle Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

It was another good week for the Hustle despite picking up their first loss of the season. The loss, along with the new off court issues with Josh Jackson, is enough for the Hustle to pick up their first non-A grade of the season from me. I’m probably being a little too harsh, but expectations are high when you start the season undefeated. The good news is the Hustle fought back from down 19 in their loss and came back instead of giving up. They also played well in Jackson’s absence while he was on suspension.

Week 6 Preview

Memphis Hustle vs. Texas Legends Photo by Timothy M Heitman/NBAE via Getty Images

Memphis Hustle @ Texas Legends (8-5) 12/14 7:30 PM CT

Memphis Hustle @ Rio Grande Valley Vipers (3-11) 12/17 11 AM CT

Game 14 Preview: After the one game homestand against the Skyforce, the Hustle will hit the road again as part of a 3 game road trip that starts in Texas against the Texas Legends. The Hustle beat the Legends twice over the opening weekend of the G-League season, but the Legends have gone 8-3 since that weekend. Dakota Mathias has led the Legends, averaging nearly 20 points per game and shooting over 40% from beyond the arc. The Legends have been solid, but the Hustle should be able to take care of business in Texas.

Game 15 Preview: The Hustle will stay in Texas and continue their road trip with a matchup against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. After eliminating the Hustle en route to winning the G-League championship last season, the Vipers have had a rough start to the 2019 season as a handful of their key assignees have ended up playing extended minutes with the Rockets. Still, if the Vipers have guys like Chris Clemons and Isaiah Hartenstein available alongside Sindarious Thornwell and Jaron Blossomgame the Vipers could still be a tough team. It won’t be as easy as the records suggest, but the Hustle should be able to pull of the Texas sweep.

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