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The Hustle Report: Yutamania is running wild!

Yuta leads the Hustle to a 2-0 week, brother!

South Bay Lakers v Memphis Hustle Photo by Brandon Dill/NBAE via Getty Images

Week 11 Results

South Bay Lakers 136 @ Memphis Hustle 152 (19-6)

Delaware Blue Coats 121 @ Memphis Hustle 138 (20-6)

Week 11 Headlines

  • Hustle reacquire Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson
  • Dusty Hannahs’ sets career high in points vs. Lakers; Yuta Watanabe sets career high in points vs. Blue Coats
  • Hustle set franchise record for points in a game vs. Lakers
  • Hustle add Tony Allen as player development coach
  • Jarrod Uthoff, John Konchar and Venky Jois return from injury
  • Hustle will host their 2nd Hustle & Hounds night on Friday
  • Hustle will host “Grizzlies Takeover Night” on Saturday

Game 25 Breakdown

South Bay Lakers v Memphis Hustle Photo by Brandon Dill/NBAE via Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Dusty Hannahs- 35 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists
  • Yuta Watanabe- 26 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
  • Jarrod Uthoff- 20 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists
  • Josh Jackson- 19 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks
  • John Konchar- 16 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals

The Hustle continued their home dominance with a big time game against the South Bay Lakers. After the Lakers held a lead for the majority of the 2nd quarter, the Hustle came out firing after halftime building up a 25 point lead and never looking back. It was a great all around performance from the Hustle in their first game without Matt Mooney. It was an all-around effort from the Hustle who had 11 of their 12 players get in the scoring column. The Hustle improved to 2-1 on the season against the Lakers with the season series finale coming up later this year in South Bay.

Game 26 Breakdown

Delaware Blue Coats v Memphis Hustle Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Yuta Watanabe- 40 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists
  • Josh Jackson- 19 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks
  • Marquis Teague- 16 points, 4 rebounds, 9 assists
  • Jarrod Uthoff- 15 points, 13 rebounds, 3 steals
  • Dusty Hannahs- 12 points, 3 assists

The Hustle continued their offensive dominance with a big win over the Delaware Blue Coats. They led by 19 in the first before blowing the lead and ended up trailing by 9 entering the 4th. A 23-2 run to start the 4th, sparked by the Hustle bench, helped the Hustle comeback for a blowout win. You can check out my full recap here.

Standings Snapshot

Hustle Stats

20: As the Hustle pass the halfway point of the season, they are just 8 or 9 games away from matching last seasons franchise record win total of 28 wins as they sit at 20 wins through 26 games. As you can see in the standings above, the Hustle are in prime position for a playoff spot and figure to be in a season-long battle with the SLC Stars for home court throughout the playoffs. On their 3rd coach in 3 years, the place in the standings is quite impressive and says a lot about the job Jason March and the team have done.

MVP of the Week - Yuta Watanabe

Delaware Blue Coats v Memphis Hustle Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Yuta Watanabe had a fantastic week as he led the Hustle as they went 2-0. Watanabe averaged 33 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2 assists on the week carrying the team with his usual poised style of play. It was a great week for Yuta after he had been quiet the past few weeks.

Week 11 Grade - A

Memphis Hustle vs Rio Grande Valley Vipers Photo by Christian Inoferio/NBAE via Getty Images

Most teams play better at home and the Hustle are no exception. They played well in both games, and although they blew an early 19 point lead against the Blue Coats it was impressive how they rallied from down 9 entering the 4th to run away with the game. Jason March has every single player on the roster ready when they’re called upon and that will be even more helpful come playoff time.

Week 12 Preview

Memphis Hustle v Austin Spurs Photo by Chris Covatta/NBAE via Getty Images

Raptors 905 (10-17) @ Memphis Hustle 1/24 7 PM CT

Austin Spurs (15-11) @ Memphis Hustle 1/25 7 PM CT

Austin Spurs (15-11) @ Memphis Hustle 1/27 7 PM CT

Texas Legends (14-13) @ Memphis Hustle 1/29 7 PM CT

Game 27 Preview: The Hustle homestand will continue with a Friday night matchup against Eastern Conference foe Raptors 905. The 905 have had a disappointing season compared to their lofty standards. The 905 have had a lot of roster turnover, most recently trading Justin Anderson for Henry Ellenson’s player rights. Still, the 905 have steady point guard Tyler Ennis at the helm who is capable of making any game a close one. Still, the Hustle should be able to take care of business at home. The game Friday will be the Hustle’s second “Hustle & Hounds” night of the season, so be sure to bring your good boys and girls to the game.

Game 28 Preview: The Hustle will head right back to the Landers Center for the 2nd game of a back to back to face off against the Austin Spurs. The Hustle lead the season series 1-0 against the Spurs after winning in Austin earlier this season. Still, the Spurs have been one of the stronger Western Conference teams this season led by Keldon Johnson, Luka Samanic and former Memphis Tiger Dedric Lawson. The Spurs play a similar style to their NBA counterparts and are never an easy out. The game Saturday will also be “Grizzlies Takeover Night” where the Hustle will give out the awesome Vancouver Grizzlies themed retro shirt below to the first 1,000 fans. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they have another surprise or two up their sleeve.

Game 29 Preview: After having Sunday off, the Hustle will turn around and face off against the Austin Spurs again on Monday night. The Hustle will need to hit the lab on Sunday to figure out what went right and wrong on Saturday night and make sure they improve going into Monday night’s game. Of note: Monday will be GBB Associate Editor Parker Fleming’s first Hustle game of the season, so be sure to follow along with his coverage on Monday night.

Game 30 Preview: The Hustle will then wrap up their 7-game homestand with a matchup against the Texas Legends. The Hustle will be going for the season sweep over the Legends after winning the first 3 matchups on the season. The Legends rely heavily on the two-way players from both the Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trail Blazers. Without the two-way guys, they don’t have much depth behind Dakota Mathias. An interesting match up with the Legends is the matchup of Japanese products Yuta Watanabe and Yudai Baba.

The Hustle could be tired from playing 5 games in 8 nights, so they may drop one of the final games of the homestand but at least on paper the Hustle match up well against all the teams they face this coming week and should be able to win them all or at least go 3-1.

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