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The Hustle Report: Hustling in the Gubble

The Hustle Report is BACK!

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Salt Lake City Stars v Memphis Hustle Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

Week 1 Results

Austin Spurs 119 vs. Memphis Hustle 111 (0-1)

Canton Charge 102 vs. Memphis Hustle 114 (1-1)

Lakeland Magic 98 vs. Memphis Hustle 87 (1-2)

Salt Lake City Stars 96 vs. Memphis Hustle 104 (2-2)

Oklahoma City Blue 120 vs. Memphis Hustle 96 (2-3)

With the unique G-League season, I’ve decided to make some minor changes to the weekly Hustle Reports. With everything virtual and the opportunity to write more recaps, those will be hyperlinked in the section above where the Hustle record is listed, instead of listing each game in breakdown format like I have done in years past. So if you’re looking for an in-depth breakdown on what happened the week prior, be sure to check out those recaps! Most everything else will stay the same as years prior but with the expectation that the following week’s previews will be longer with so many games in a short amount of time.

Week 1 Headlines

Oklahoma City Blue v Memphis Hustle Photo by Chris Marion/NBAE via Getty Images
  • Jontay Porter makes his Hustle debut
  • Hustle get Tyrell Terry and Sam Merrill on flex-assignments
  • New faces make their Hustle debuts

Standings Snapshot

Hustle Stat of the Week

Canton Charge v Memphis Hustle Photo by Chris Marion/NBAE via Getty Images

51.6: The Hustle are currently 2nd in the G-League in rebounds per game, averaging 51.6 per game. This is pretty phenomenal for a team that lacked a lot of size when the preseason roster first came out. The addition of Jontay Porter has helped some, as he’s averaging 4.5 rebounds in just 12 minutes per game. It really speaks volumes to the efforts of Shaq Buchanan (8 rebounds per game) and Tyrell Terry (6.3 rebounds per game) who are 2nd and 3rd on the team in rebounds per game behind Freddie Gillespie. Rebounding will be a team effort for the Hustle all season, but if they can continue to get solid rebounding numbers from their guards, they’ll be just fine.

MVP of the Week - Freddie Gillespie

Salt Lake City Stars v Memphis Hustle Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

It was really tough to decide on the MVP of the Week as multiple individual players had excellent performances. Ultimately, I went with the most consistent and well-balanced performer on the week in Freddie Gillespie. The #2 overall pick in the G-League draft has averaged 11.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2 blocks and 1.2 steals per game for the Hustle. Gillespie is the anchor for the Hustle defense and if he’s not blocking shots, he’s altering them. He’s been hot and cold offensively but has shown enough flash to warrant selecting him #2 overall in the G-League draft, and gaining some NBA interest.

Week 1 Grade - B

Oklahoma City Blue v Memphis Hustle Photo by Chris Marion/NBAE via Getty Images

Overall it was a pretty successful week for the Hustle. Sure, they went 1-2, but as Jason March mentioned on The Core 4 Podcast he really prioritizes development over wins and losses. The shots weren’t falling on some nights last week, but the team was still getting open looks which says a lot about the system March has in place. In addition, the Hustle have been competitive and fought back when down all week long instead of giving up which shows a lot of the heart and determination from the team.

Week 2 Preview

G League Ignite v Erie Bayhawks Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

Greensboro Swarm (1-3) vs. Memphis Hustle 2/19 2 PM CT

Erie Bayhawks (4-1) vs. Memphis Hustle 2/20 2 PM CT

Raptors 905 (3-2) vs. Memphis Hustle 2/22 6:30 PM CT

G League Ignite (4-1) vs. Memphis Hustle 2/24 2 PM CT on ESPN2

Game 6 Preview: The Hustle will face off against the Greensboro Swarm in the “easiest” of their matchups in the coming week in a Friday matinee. The Swarm are led by Duke prospect Vernon Carey Jr. who is averaging 23 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Former Vol Admiral Schofield and former Grizzlies/Hustle player Kobi Simmons are the only Swarm players to average double digits in points per game. If the Hustle can slow that trio down, theyTh should be able to come away a win against a Swarm team that doesn’t have a ton of depth.

Game 7 Preview: The Hustle will then face off against a deep Erie Bayhawks team that has 8 players averaging double digits in points per game. They’re led by former-Grizzly Jordan Bell, but also get great contributions from Naji Marshall, Will Magnay, Jalen Adams, Cassius Winston, Justin Wright-Foreman and former Hustle player Jarrod Uthoff. The Bayhawks are one of the best offensive teams in the league, averaging 120 points per game which is good for second in the G-League.

Game 8 Preview: The Hustle will begin next week with a matchup against one of the best teams at developing talent in the Raptors 905. Malachi Flynn has been a stud for them, averaging 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Nik Stauskas is doing his best to revitalize his career averaging 17 points while a slew of other players contribute at a high level for the 905, including former Hustle player Matt Mooney. The 905 are good, but play there 9 guys pretty heavy minutes. The Hustle will likely try and push the pace to get the 905 playing on heavy legs.

Game 9 Preview: The Hustle will wrap up their week facing off against the shiny, new toy in the G-League. The Ignite, in their inaugural season, have impressed in the early parts of the season. They’ve had a bit of an advantage having been practicing together in California for at least a month or so longer than the Hustle even finalized their roster. Top prospects for the 2021 NBA Draft Jalen Green (18.8 points per game) and Jonathan Kuminga (18.3 points per game) have been great in the early parts of the season, while Jarrett Jack continues to prove he can ball even as he gets older. Though they don’t get the attention Green and Kuminga get, Daishen Nix and Isaiah Todd are two other draft prospects to watch for in the matchup against the Hustle. With the game on ESPN2, it’ll be interesting to see how the Hustle play knowing there will be a lot of attention on this game. Jason March has acknowledged in the past how this team doesn’t play selfish, like other G-League teams can trying to get their numbers, but the pressure will certainly be on for a young Hustle squad trying to prove their worth to NBA scouts.

Fatigue will also continue to be a factor for the Hustle, and all G-League teams, as they play so many games in such a short amount of time. Thankfully, the coming week only has one back-to-back compared to the two the Hustle had last week.

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