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The Hustle Report: Playoff Bound!

Hustle sweep the road trip to clinch franchise’s first postseason berth

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

Week 20 Results

Memphis Hustle (26-21) 119 @ Oklahoma City Blue 101

Memphis Hustle (27-21) 116 @ Sioux Falls Skyforce 101

Memphis Hustle (28-21) 131 @ Salt Lake City Stars 127

Week 20 Headlines

  • Kyle Casey returns from injury
  • Hustle clinch first ever playoff appearance in franchise history

Game 47 Breakdown

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Markel Crawford- 30 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
  • Julian Washburn- 18 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals
  • Doral Moore- 17 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 blocks
  • Tarik Phillip- 16 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists
  • Jevon Carter- 16 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists

The Hustle won a huge game against the OKC Blue last Friday night on the road. It was a well-balanced effort from the Hustle, who had 3 players drop double-doubles and had 6 of the 8 players who played score in double figures. The Hustle were able to limit the Blue offensively, with just Bryce Alford scoring over 20 points in the game. The win was huge in the Hustle cementing their spot in the playoff picture. The only negative from the game against the Blue is Dusty Hannahs’ 0-11 from the field shooting line could kill the potential of him being the second G-Leaguer ever to have a 50-40-90 shooting line at the end of the season.

Game 48 Breakdown

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Tyler Dorsey- 30 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists
  • Julian Washburn- 19 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals
  • Jevon Carter- 16 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals
  • Doral Moore- 15 points, 14 rebounds, 5 blocks

The Hustle continued their road trip with another huge win, this time over the Sioux Falls Skyforce. The win officially eliminated the Skyforce from playoff contention, as Sunday’s loss was their 10th in a row. The Skyforce have been decimated by injuries and call ups over the past couple of weeks, so it was good for the Hustle to take care of business and finish off the Skyforce. Tyler Dorsey played excellent in his 3rd game with the Hustle, while Doral Moore was a beast on both ends of the court. The win over the Skyforce set up Tuesday night’s matchup against the Stars as a potential playoff clinching night for the Hustle.

Game 49 Breakdown

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Tyler Dorsey- 34 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals
  • Jevon Carter- 17 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists
  • Julian Washburn- 16 points, 6 rebounds
  • Tarik Phillip- 15 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals
  • Yuta Watanabe- 13 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals

The Memphis Hustle, in just their second season, clinched their first ever playoff appearance Tuesday night after completing a 24 point comeback to defeat the Salt Lake City Stars. Tyler Dorsey led the Hustle with another 30-point performance, with 4 other Hustle players scoring in double figures. The win was the biggest in franchise history so far, as it clinched the 5th seed in the playoffs for the Hustle. A loss would have put a ton of pressure on the Hustle to win Friday’s regular season finale against a tough OKC Blue squad. Instead, the Hustle can treat Friday night’s game as a tune up for their upcoming match-up against the Stockton Kings.

Hustle Stats

37: Former Grizzlies center Deyonta Davis (most recently with Santa Cruz Warriors) signed a 10-day contract this past week with the Atlanta Hawks. Davis makes it 37 G-League players to receive an NBA call up this season. It doesn’t look like last year’s record of 50 players called up will be broken this season, but it’s encouraging to see the NBA use the G-League to add talent to their teams. With more and more players earning NBA opportunities, players will be less inclined to travel overseas, which will only help the G-League grow.

MVP of the Week - Tyler Dorsey

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Washington Wizards Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Dorsey only played in two of the three Hustle games this week, but made up for the game he missed by scoring over 30 points in both games he played. Dorsey has been a nice late season “acquisition” by the Hustle with Tyler Harvey still out due to his foot injury. Dorsey’s ability to take over offensively has allowed for Tarik Phillip to go back to facilitating and playing tough defense. Dorsey’s all around play was a huge factor in the Hustle clinching a playoff spot.

Week 20 Grade - A+

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Credit to Brad Jones and the Hustle this week. After struggling on the road early in the season, I was anxious to see how the Hustle would do on the biggest road trip of the season. 3-0 was a nice response. The Hustle won a big game over the OKC Blue, who are competing for a first round bye in the playoffs, without Tyler Dorsey and Kyle Casey. The win over Sioux Falls was nice, but the resiliency of this team to not give up down 24 in Salt Lake City is a testament to how hard Brad has this team playing. Great way to wrap up the season for the Hustle.

Week 21 Preview

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Oklahoma City Blue (32-16) @ Memphis Hustle 03/22 7 PM CT

The Hustle will wrap up the regular season with a home game against the OKC Blue. The game is meaningless for the Hustle, outside of it being the last home game of the season. With a match-up set against the Stockton Kings in the first round of the playoffs, the game tomorrow night will be like a walk-through. However, it is a big game for the Blue as they have made a late push for a top-2 seed in the playoffs that would give them a first round bye. The Hustle have proven to be capable of beating the Blue, defeating them this past week, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the win isn’t top priority for the Hustle who would likely rather get healthy and ready for the single game playoff against the Kings. Regardless, you should make the trip down to Southaven to go cheer on the Hustle on last time this season.

The Hustle Report will move up a couple of days next week with the G-League playoffs set to begin March 26th. More info on the Hustle’s matchup against the Kings will be available then. Thank you all for following along this season!

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