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The Hustle Report: Hustling in to the break

Hustle struggle out in California

Memphis Hustle vs Santa Cruz Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Week 13 Results

Memphis Hustle (23-8) 126 @ Stockton Kings 137

Memphis Hustle (23-9) 105 @ Santa Cruz Warriors 117

Week 13 Headlines

  • Shorthanded Hustle have their first winless week of the season

Game 31 Breakdown

Memphis Hustle v Grand Rapids Drive Photo by Todd Lussier/NBAE via Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Dusty Hannahs- 26 points (6-10 from beyond the arc)
  • Marquis Teague- 25 points, 8 assists
  • Shaq Buchanan- 24 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists
  • Jarrod Uthoff- 15 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists
  • Venky Jois- 10 points, 6 rebounds

The Hustle fell to the Stockton Kings last Friday as they played sluggishly out of the gate and couldn’t quite complete a comeback. The Hustle defense was mostly nonexistent on the night, with the 4th quarter and garbage time being the only time they really outplayed the Kings. The Kings led by over 20 points at one point and had 3 players score 24 points. It was a disappointing effort from the Hustle, whose usually strong depth was tested as they continue to have just 9 guys available.

Game 32 Breakdown

Memphis Hustle vs Santa Cruz Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Marquis Teague- 27 points, 5 assists
  • Ahmad Caver- 17 points, 4 assists, 2 steals
  • Jarrod Uthoff- 16 points, 19 rebounds
  • Shaq Buchanan- 16 points, 8 rebounds
  • Venky Jois- 14 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals

The Hustle had a quick turnaround and had to face off against a hot Santa Cruz Warriors team the night after their loss to the Kings. The Warriors led by as much as 21 late in the game before a spirited comeback made the score more respectable. Outside of Marquis Teague, the Hustle couldn’t find much consistency scoring the ball and had to watch Dusty Hannahs turn in one of his worst performances of the year (10 points on 3-15 shooting). The Hustle just lacked the offensive capabilities to keep up with Jeremy Pargo and the Warriors.

Standings Snapshot

Hustle Stats

27.9%: Over their two-game losing streak, the Hustle shot a putrid 19-68 (27.9%) from beyond the arc, which is nearly 10% lower from their season average of 37.7%. The cold shooting hasn’t helped a roster having to adjust to 4 players called up to the NBA in the past two weeks. Hopefully for them they get at least one of the two-ways back soon to help right the ship.

14.5: One thing that is able to keep the Hustle in a majority of games is their ability to take care of the ball. They currently lead the league in turnovers, averaging just 14.5 turnovers per game on the season. The stat is even more impressive when you throw in the fact that non-traditional point guards in Dusty Hannahs and Matt Mooney have taken on a large role in the ball handling duties on the season. The Hustle are also currently 3rd in the G-League in steals per game, averaging 10.6. This gives them one of the best steals-to-turnover ratios in the league.

MVP of the Week - Marquis Teague

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

Marquis Teague is back after dominating this category in the Hustle’s inaugural season. Teague was the only consistent scoring threat for the Hustle this week, scoring 25 and 27 points respectively in both games this week. He also did a solid job of sharing the rock as well, dishing out 6.5 assists per game. Unfortunately for the Hustle, Teague’s play wasn’t enough for them to secure a win this past week.

Week 13 Grade - D

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

It was a pretty ugly week for the Hustle after their shorthanded squad took care of business the week prior. An 0-2 road trip out west - especially without the two-way guys - is understandable, but it was pretty shocking to see the Hustle get blown out a majority of both games. The Hustle will need to regroup and fast before they get closer to sliding down the standings. Fortunately for them, the Salt Lake City Stars have been struggling too, allowing the Hustle to maintain their lead in the Western Conference.

Week 14 Preview

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

Oklahoma City Blue (15-17) @ Memphis Hustle 2/6 10:30 AM CT

Memphis Hustle @ South Bay Lakers (11-21) 2/8 7 PM CT

Memphis Hustle @ Agua Caliente Clippers (16-16) 2/11 1 PM CT

Game 33 Preview: The Hustle will return to Southaven for a one game homestand where they will host the Oklahoma City Blue as part of their Financial Literacy Education Day Game. The game will feature an early 10:30 AM tip-off, with as many as 4,700 students from schools in DeSoto County in attendance. The game is a good chance for the Hustle to right the ship as the Blue have struggled for the greater part of the season. DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell figures to cause problems for the Hustle but outside of him, Myke Henry and Devon Hall the Hustle don’t have as much to worry about unless the Thunder send someone down on assignment. The early tipoff could be tricky, but with what should be a big crowd I suspect the Hustle will be able to get things going.

Game 34 Preview: The Hustle will then travel back out to California, this time to face off against the South Bay Lakers. The Hustle fell to the Lakers the last time these two teams went at it in El Sagundo, California. The Lakers have been hit as hard as the Hustle have been with call ups of their players and two-ways, though, so both teams figure to be shorthanded. Unless the Hustle get Yuta Watanabe and John Konchar back, it should be an interesting game of shorthanded teams.

Game 35 Preview: The Hustle will wrap up their road trip with a trip to Ontario, California to face off against the Agua Caliente Clippers. The Clippers have had a lot of roster turnover as well, but with two-way player Johnathan Motley spending more time with the G-League Clippers this game won’t come easy. Motley is a beast down low, averaging 23.4 points and 8 rebounds per game. Depending on who the Clippers have available compared to the Hustle will likely determine the outcome of this game. If guys like Mfiondu Kabengele and Amir Coffey are on assignment with Motley, then it could be a long night for the Hustle. If the Clippers call up all their guys, though, they should be able to compete with James Palmer Jr., and the rest of the G-League Clippers roster.

The Hustle will then get a break, as the G-League takes February 14-16 off for the NBA All-Star Break.

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