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The Hustle Report: Crunch time woes

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The Hustle week is highlighted by 3 close losses.

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G League Ignite v Memphis Hustle Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

Week 2 Results

Greensboro Swarm 98 vs. Memphis Hustle 118 (3-3)

Erie Bayhawks 107 vs. Memphis Hustle 103 (3-4)

Raptors 905 119 vs. Memphis Hustle 117 (3-5)

G-League Ignite 104 vs. Memphis Hustle 101 (3-6)

Week 2 Headlines

  • Sam Merrill is recalled.
  • Grizzlies transfer Sean McDermott to the Hustle

Standings Snapshot

Hustle Stat of the Week

7: The Memphis Hustle have trailed by double digits in 7 of their 9 games this season. This is due in large part to the Hustle starting games poorly, with the game against Erie being the only good start the team has had. They've been outscored 236-187, good for over 6 points per game, in first quarters this season, prior to the matchup against the Ignite. That number would look a lot worse if the Hustle didn’t typically close the 1st quarter on a run to get back into things. Simply, the Hustle will need to start games better to start winning consistently.

MVP of the Week - Bennie Boatwright

Memphis Hustle v Raptors 905 Photo by Chris Marion/NBAE via Getty Images

Bennie Boatwright shined this past week for the Hustle. After missing all of last season, and taking the beginning portion of the season getting his legs under him, Bennie broke out in a big way this week. Boatwright averaged 18 points per game on 40% shooting and 37% from beyond the arc. Bennie also chipped in 7.5 rebounds per game, proving he doesn’t just hang around the perimeter. Tyrell Terry (21 points per game) and Ahmad Caver (15.5 points per game) deserve an honorable mention with their performances this week.

Week 2 Grade - B

I usually wouldn’t give a 1-3 week a B, but there needs to be some credit given to the Hustle for each loss being so close, especially considering they lost to 3 of the best teams in the Gubble. The team needs to figure out how to overcome their slow starts, but the youngest team in the G-League has certainly proved they know how to fight back and keep things interesting. A little bit better execution in the final minutes of games and the Hustle could’ve easily had a 4-0 week.

Week 3 Preview

Canton Charge v Santa Cruz Warriors Photo by Chris Marion/NBAE via Getty Images

Santa Cruz Warriors (6-3) vs. Memphis Hustle 2/25 2 PM CT on ESPN2

Iowa Wolves (0-9) vs. Memphis Hustle 2/27 6:30 PM CT

Agua Caliente Clippers (3-6) vs. Memphis Hustle 3/1 6 PM CT

Westchester Knicks (5-4) vs. Memphis Hustle 3/2 6:30 PM CT

Game 10 Preview: The Hustle will enter a critical stretch of their schedule tonight as they face off against Dusty Hannahs and the Santa Cruz Warriors. The Warriors have been one of the big name teams this season with Jeremy Lin attempting to make his NBA comeback alongside Warriors prospects Jordan Poole and Nico Mannion. Lin and Mannion have been out recently due to injuries but the Warriors still have a bunch of offensive firepower in Hannahs, Poole and others. The Hustle will need to take advantage if the Warriors are without Lin and Mannion by limiting the impact Hannahs and Poole can have. It’ll be difficult to overcome the firepower of a healthy Warriors team.

Game 11 Preview: After a day off, the Hustle will get to face off against the worst team in the G-League in the Iowa Wolves. The Wolves have been pesky despite the losses, but with Tyler Cook signing a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets, the road is more difficult for them going forward. Lindell Wiggington and Isaiah Briscoe are night, but the Wolves just don’t have the depth to compete consistently in the Gubble. This is almost a “must win” game for the Hustle if they want to stay in the running for the playoffs.

Game 12 Preview: The Hustle will then face off against the inconsistent Agua Caliente Clippers. The Clippers are led by Tyrone Wallace and James Palmer Jr. but get some inconsistent performances from Donte Grantham, Jahmi’us Rhamsey and Emanuel Terry. The Hustle will need to lock down Wallace and Palmer while also making sure they don’t let one of the Clippers role players get hot. The Clippers are a solid rebounding team so whoever wins the battle on the boards may win the game.

Game 13 Preview: The Hustle will wrap up their week with a matchup against the balanced attack of the Westchester Knicks. The Knicks have 7 players averaging double digits in points per game, led by Knicks assignee Ignas Brazdeikis. Jared Harper has also provided some solid scoring as well for the Knicks. The Knicks will be a tough matchup for the Hustle as they’re very well-balanced but if the Hustle can force some turnovers and turn them into easy points, they can steal a win against a streaky Knicks squad.

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