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The Hustle Report: Shorthanded for the Showcase

Injuries pile up for the Hustle as they head to Vegas

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Rio Grande Valley Vipers v Memphis Hustle Photo by Brandon Dill/NBAE via Getty Images

Week 4 Results

Rio Grande Valley Vipers 117 @ Memphis Hustle 121 (6-4)

Birmingham Squadron 119 vs. Memphis Hustle 97 (6-5)

Birmingham Squadron 109 vs. Memphis Hustle 113 (6-6)

Week 4 Headlines

  • Hustle miss playoff bracket for Showcase Cup
  • Hustle injuries limit them to maximum 8 available players all week

Game 10 Breakdown

Rio Grande Valley Vipers v Memphis Hustle Photo by Brandon Dill/NBAE via Getty Images

Key Stats

  • David Stockton- 29 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal
  • Shaq Buchanan- 21 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals
  • Cameron Young- 21 points
  • Freddie Gillespie- 18 points, 14 rebounds, 2 blocks
  • Reggie Hearn- 15 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
  • Ahmad Caver- 10 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 blocks

The Hustle wrapped up their last home series of the first portion of the season with the sweep over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. The win on Thursday was particularly impressive as the Hustle were down to just 7 available players but were able to dominate the Vipers for most of the night. The Hustle tired legs began to show late as the Vipers cut into the lead, but some big buckets by David Stockton and Shaq Buchanan helped the Hustle hang on for the win and keep their playoff bracket hopes alive. You can check out my full recap here.

Game 11 Breakdown

Rio Grande Valley Vipers v Memphis Hustle Photo by Brandon Dill/NBAE via Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Cameron Young- 20 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists
  • David Stockton- 16 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists
  • Freddie Gillespie- 14 points, 13 rebounds
  • Ahmad Caver- 13 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 steals
  • Shaq Buchanan- 13 points, 4 rebounds

The Hustle dropped their first game in Birmingham on Monday night as they couldn’t stop the Squadron offense. Jared Harper led the way with 23 points but the Squadron had another 5 player score in double figures including assignment player Jaxson Hayes. The Hustle had 8 available players. The Hustle played well in the first half jumping out to a 12 point lead before tired legs hit them in the second half as they found themselves down big.

Game 12 Breakdown

Rio Grande Valley Vipers v Memphis Hustle Photo by Brandon Dill/NBAE via Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Cameron Young- 24 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals
  • David Stockton- 22 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 steals
  • Freddie Gillespie- 17 points, 20 rebounds (franchise high), 2 blocks
  • Darnell Cowart- 16 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals
  • Ahmad Caver- 13 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists

The Hustle wrapped up their last mini-series before the Showcase Cup with another loss against the Birmingham Squadron. The Hustle were without Shaq Buchanan who missed the game with a non-COVID illness leaving the Hustle with just 7 healthy bodies for the matchup. Jason March, who has been walking the line with the officials all season, snapped after a no-call on a Reggie Hearn layup attempt and he was subsequently given two tech’s and ejected from the game, while Reggie also picked up a tech on the play. Hearn was then ejected a few minutes later after getting into a verbal argument with Jose Alvarado. This left the Hustle with just 6 available players for 2 and a half quarters of game time. The Hustle didn’t stop fighting though, clawing back and even taking a couple of late leads before ultimately falling to the Squadron.

MVP of the Week - David Stockton

Rio Grande Valley Vipers v Memphis Hustle Photo by Brandon Dill/NBAE via Getty Images

David Stockton was huge for the Hustle this week in his first games without any minute restrictions after dealing with an injury to start the season. He finished the week averaging 22.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5 assists per game pacing the shorthanded Hustle offense. Stockton adds another dimension to the Hustle offense that can sometimes struggle to find points outside of Shaq Buchanan and Ahmad Caver if they are without assignment guys. Stockton’s all-around ability was on full display this week and proves himself to be a sneaky call up candidate heading into the Showcase Cup.

Week 4 Grade - B

Rio Grande Valley Vipers v Memphis Hustle Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Probably the best 1-2 week the Hustle have had. They finished off their domination of the Vipers and fought hard despite losing both games in Birmingham. The team wore out in the first game but their efforts in the second game make up for any of the first games shortcomings. They still took the loss, but it’s hard to find anything wrong with how hard the Hustle played and how close they were to winning down to just 6 available guys and without Jason March.

Week 5 Preview

The Hustle will fly out to Las Vegas later this week to take part in the Showcase Cup, scheduled for December 19-22nd. Since they missed out on the playoff bracket of the Showcase Cup, the Hustle will be randomly scheduled to face off against 2 Eastern Conference teams who also failed to make the playoff bracket.

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