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The Hustle Report: Hustling into the break

Hustle go 2-1 heading into the Team USA break

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

Week 15 Results

Northern Arizona Suns 89 @ Memphis Hustle 118 (19-16)

Memphis Hustle 115 @ Texas Legends 94 (20-16)

Iowa Wolves @ Memphis Hustle (20-17)

Week 15 Headlines

  • Kyle Casey named to Team USA World Cup Qualifying Team.
  • Former Hustle player Tanner McGrew also named to team
  • US Qualifiers replaces G-League All-Star Weekend
  • Hustle sign Jackson, MS native LaQuinton Ross

Game 35 Breakdown

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Dusty Hannahs- 18 points, 3 rebounds
  • Markel Crawford- 18 points, 2 rebounds
  • Tarik Phillip- 14 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals
  • Marcus Keene- 14 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists

The Hustle won a pretty easy game last Friday against the lowly Suns. It was a game that saw every Hustle player who saw the court score, with 6 in double figures. Dusty Hannahs got going again after a recent semi-cold streak had hit him. Hustle star Tyler Harvey only had to play 26 minutes in the contest since the Hustle jumped out to the early lead. Tyler Dorsey also made his Hustle debut, scoring 6 points in 16 minutes of action. The blowout allowed the Hustle to play loosely and get their main guys rest considering they had to travel to Texas after the game to face off against the Legends.

Game 36 Breakdown

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Tyler Harvey- 30 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals
  • Dusty Hannahs- 18 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists
  • Tarik Phillip- 17 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks
  • Justin Tillman- 12 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists

The back-to-back and late arrival into Texas didn’t stop the Hustle from blowing out Kostas Antetokounmpo and the Legends. Tyler Harvey, well rested from Friday’s blowout, went off for yet another 30 point game while Dusty Hannahs’ fire from Friday carried over into Saturday. Newcomer Justin Tillman had his best game in a Hustle uniform as well, notching the double-double. I thought this game could be a potential loss for the Hustle with it being the second night of a back-to-back but I’m glad Brad Jones and company came out ready to go from the tip.

Game 37 Breakdown

NCAA Basketball: Rhode Island at VCU Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Key Stats

  • Tyler Harvey- 21 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists
  • Tarik Phillip- 15 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals
  • Markel Crawford- 13 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
  • Justin Tillman- 11 points, 6 rebounds

The Hustle dropped their last game before the break to the Iowa Wolves. The Wolves haven’t had a great season, but seem to have the Hustle’s number as they take the 3-1 season series win. The Wolves got a great performance from Darius Johnson-Odom who dropped nearly 40 points for the Wolves. The Wolves also got a near triple-double from former Hustle player Brandon Goodwin who was on assignment from the Denver Nuggets. The Hustle were fine offensively but once again couldn’t stop the Wolves from scoring, especially in a lopsided second half that saw them get outscored by 19 points.

Hustle Stats

2: The Hustle currently hold a 2 game lead over the Salt Lake City Stars for the 6th and final spot in the G-League playoffs with just 13 games remaining on the schedule. 13 games is still plenty of time for the Hustle to make a run towards a higher seed (just 2 games out from the 4 seed) or fall out of the playoff picture. Still, the Hustle have put themselves in good position to make the franchise’s first postseason berth.

29: Tyler Harvey has averaged 29 points per game in a monster February. Highlighted by his 58 point performance, Harvey has been on fire going into the break. Harvey is also averaging a solid 4.8 assists throughout this 5 game stretch showing he can do more than just put the ball in the basket.

6.5: Freshly signed LaQuinton Ross has played in 15 games already this G-League season, scoring 6.5 points and 3.6 rebounds for the Northern Arizona Suns. Ross played his college ball at Ohio State and should be a nice fill in should Kyle Casey miss anytime due to his Team USA responsibilities.

MVP of the Week - Tyler Harvey

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

Tyler Harvey had another big week for the Hustle. With Friday night’s blowout over the Suns, Harvey still averaged 20 points per game this week. Last year the Hustle had a two person battle between Omari Johnson and Marquis Teague for MVP honors, but Harvey seems to be running away with team MVP this season.

Week 15 Grade - B

I said last week a 2-1 week would be good for the Hustle, although I thought they would have lost one of the games in the back-to-back instead of last night’s match-up against the Wolves. Regardless, Brad Jones has his squad in prime playoff position and that shouldn’t be taken for granted. The dominant fashion in the way the Hustle took care of business over the weekend makes up for last night’s lackluster performance.

Week 16 Preview

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Los Angeles Clippers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Salt Lake City Stars @ Memphis Hustle 02/20 7 PM CT

The Hustle will stay at home after a nearly week long break to face off against the Salt Lake City Stars. This match-up is huge for both teams, as the Hustle currently lead the Stars by 2 games in the conference. A win here could help solidify the Hustle’s spot in the playoff picture as it is the first of 3 late season game’s against the Stars. If the Hustle win, they’ll be one step closer to clinching a potential tie breaker with the Stars.

A victory against the Stars won’t come easy though, as Willie Reed and Naz Mitrou-Long are both solid G-league players who can give the Hustle fits. Former Hustle player Tanner McGrew is also averaging nearly 15 points in 30 minutes per game with the Stars. With the game at home and having 6 full days off, look for the Hustle to be well prepared for such a big game.

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