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The Hustle Report: So Long, Josh

Josh Jackson finally gets called up in a busy week for the Hustle

Austin Spurs v Memphis Hustle Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Week 12 Results

Raptors 905 129 @ Memphis Hustle 118 (20-7)

Austin Spurs 109 @ Memphis Hustle 119 (21-7)

Austin Spurs 111 @ Memphis Hustle 115 (22-7)

Texas Legends 127 @ Memphis Hustle 132 (23-7)

Week 12 Headlines

  • Josh Jackson recalled by Grizzlies
  • John Konchar and Yuta Watanabe called up by Grizzlies

Game 27 Breakdown

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

Key Stats

  • Jarrod Uthoff- 24 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals
  • Josh Jackson- 23 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 4 blocks
  • Dusty Hannahs- 23 points
  • Yuta Watanabe- 16 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists
  • John Konchar- 6 points, 5 rebounds, 13 assists, 1 steal

The Hustle fell to the Raptors 905 on Hustle & Hounds night after an uncharacteristic 4th quarter where they were outscored 30-19. The Hustle led most of the first half before a Raptors run gave them the lead going into the break. The Hustle and Raptors exchanged leads most of the 3rd before the Raptors ran away with the game in the 4th, leading by as much as 18. Usually it’s the Hustle who run away with games late but the recently acquired Henry Ellenson of Raptors 905 and his 31 points were enough to put the Hustle away.

Game 28 Breakdown

Raptors 905 v Memphis Hustle Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Jarrod Uthoff- 25 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals
  • Dusty Hannahs- 22 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals
  • Yuta Watanabe- 13 points, 4 rebounds
  • Shaq Buchanan- 11 points, 7 rebounds
  • John Konchar- 10 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists

The Hustle responded with a sound win over the Austin Spurs on the second night of a back-to-back, grabbing the win on Grizzlies Takeover Night. It was a solid win for the Hustle as they held onto their lead and didn’t allow multiple Spurs runs to allow them to get back into the game. You can check out my full recap of the game here.

Game 29 Breakdown

Austin Spurs v Memphis Hustle Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Dusty Hannahs- 23 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal
  • Shaq Buchanan- 23 points, 4 steals
  • Marquis Teague- 22 points, 4 rebounds, 9 assists
  • Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson- 14 points, 6 rebounds (GW basket)

After having Sunday off, the Hustle faced off against the same Austin Spurs squad they beat on Saturday. The Hustle would look a lot different though, with Josh Jackson, John Konchar and Yuta Watanabe being called up by the Grizzlies. After 26 games with the Hustle, Jackson finally got the call up to the big-league squad, while the two-way guys were called up to provide depth after the injury bug hit the Grizzlies. Despite the changes, the Hustle were able to pull out a close win over a conference foe behind a Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson game-winning basket and pushed the Spurs down the Western Conference standings. GBB Associate Editor Parker Fleming filled in for me that game, and you can check out his full recap here.

Game 30 Breakdown

Texas Legends v Memphis Hustle Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Dusty Hannahs- 33 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists
  • Marquis Teague- 24 points, 8 assists
  • Jarrod Uthoff- 21 points, 16 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
  • Shaq Buchanan- 19 points, 4 rebonds, 2 steals
  • Ahmad Caver- 16 points, 8 assists, 4 steals

The Hustle wrapped up their 7 game home stand with an insanely impressive win over the Texas Legends. Being down to just 9 players, while the Legends had 3 of their 4 two-way players play, the Hustle were able to come back from being down by as much as 10 to win in exciting fashion. The Hustle made multiple mini runs to cut into the Legends 8 point lead in the first half, but the Legends always responded with a run of their own. Behind Dusty Hannahs, the Hustle took it up a notch and outscored the Legends 37-25 in the 4th quarter to grab the win.

Standings Snapshot

First place looks so good!

Hustle Stats

Raptors 905 v Memphis Hustle Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

20.3: Josh Jackson ends his Hustle tenure averaging 20.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.9 blocks/steals per game. After earning a reputation in Phoenix of slacking off on defense, Josh really stepped up his defense game in Southaven. Sure, he was better than a lot of the guys he was guarding but the key is that the effort was there. The 4.3 assists is also a good sign for Josh, showing he can facilitate some should he need to. Josh’s all around play was critical for the Hustle and made his call-up well deserved.

27.3: Going into last night’s matchup against the Texas Legends, the Hustle were the league leaders in assists per game averaging 27.3 assists. The Hustle average 45.5 made field goals per game, meaning 60% of their made baskets come from assists. The Hustle have the 5th highest assist percentage in the league. In a game where sharing is caring, the Hustle excel at moving the basketball.

MVP of the Week - The Hustle Bench Squad

Austin Spurs v Memphis Hustle Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

I know I’m cheating by not giving MVP of the Week to a specific player, but it was difficult to choose a single person after how the last 4 games played out. After spending a majority of the season coming off the bench, the trio of Marquis Teague, Shaq Buchanan and Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson came up big for the Hustle this week. In the first matchup against the Spurs, it was that trio that helped the Hustle gain momentum and put the Spurs away for good. In the second matchup, the trio led the Hustle in a close win with Hollis-Jefferson hitting the game-winner while Teague scored 14 points in the 4th quarter. Others may have had better stat lines, but this trio was critical in the Hustle’s success this past week.

Week 12 Grade - A

Texas Legends v Memphis Hustle Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

A 3-1 week, with 2 wins coming very short handed is quite impressive and a testament to the job Jason March has done. As March would say, the Hustle have kept a “next man up” mentality and that held true this week, defeating solid potential playoff teams while going through some major roster overhaul. It was an excellent week for the Hustle.

Week 13 Preview

Santa Cruz Warriors v Memphis Hustle Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Memphis Hustle @ Stockton Kings (15-13) 1/31 9 PM CT

Memphis Hustle @ Santa Cruz Warriors (16-12) 2/1 9 PM CT

Game 31 Preview: The Hustle will travel to Stockton for their first visit there since defeating the Kings in the first round of last years playoffs. The Hustle will look to take a 2-0 series lead on the Kings after winning a matinee in Southaven earlier this season. The Kings have struggled to replace Wenyen Gabriel and Gabe Vincent’s production from earlier this season, but are still a solid team led by veteran point guard Isaiah Cannon. Alongside Cannon, the Kings have solid scoring depth in Cody Demps and Isaiah Pineiro. If Kyle Guy is sent down on his two-way, the Kings could be a tough win on the road for the Hustle especially if the two-way guys are still with the Grizzlies. Still, the Hustle are more than talented enough to pull out a gritty road win.

Game 32 Preview: Next up on the Hustle’s two-game road trip is the Santa Cruz Warriors. The Warriors have climbed the standings over the past week or so thanks in large part to former Grizzlies Deyonta Davis and Andrew Harrison. The Hustle won the first matchup of the season in Southaven in dominating fashion, leading the Warriors by as much as 48 before winning by 30. The Hustle contained the former Grizzlies duo fairly well in that game and should be able to do the same on the road.

Road games in the G-League are never easy, especially with the Hustle roster potentially gutted by call ups, but this Hustle team is still talented enough to get it done. A 1-1 split on the road trip would be a solid week for the Hustle before returning home to Southaven.

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