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The Hustle Report: Back in Action

Hustle tip off the “regular season” with first game in 3 weeks

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

Week 1 Results

Santa Cruz Warriors 132 at Memphis Hustle 130 OT (0-1)

Week 1 Headlines

  • Freddie Gillespie, Shaq Buchanan and Ahmad Caver return after 10-day contracts
  • Tyrell Terry signed to two-way deal
  • Roster flexibility allows Hustle to add Josh Nzeakor and Devin Whitfield

Game 1 Breakdown

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

Key Stats

  • David Stockton- 31 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists
  • Cameron Young- 22 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists
  • Tyler Hagedorn- 20 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals
  • Reggie Hearn- 17 points, 3 steals
  • Tyrell Terry- 12 points (4-5 shooting from distance)

The Hustle lost their first game to tip off the regular season portion of the G League season. The team was without Freddie Gillespie, who was in the process of returning from his 20 days with the Orlando Magic. The Hustle also got limited minutes out of Shaq Buchanan and Tyrell Terry but were still able to keep things close against the Santa Cruz Warriors. Some poor execution late gave the Warriors a chance and Moses Moody and Quinndary Weatherspoon took advantage as they combined for 71 points to defeat the Hustle. You can check out my full recap here.

Hustle Stats

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

22: The Hustle came one 3-point make shy of tying their franchise record for triples in a game with 22 on Monday night. Tyler Hagedorn provides some stretch big minutes the Hustle haven’t seen since Jarrod Uthoff was the starting center two seasons ago, with Reggie Hearn, David Stockton and Cameron Young filling it up from beyond the arc. The Hustle were not a great 3-point shooting team leading into the Showcase Cup, but if Monday was a sign of things to come instead of a mirage, the Hustle offense may have unlocked another dynamic.

MVP of the Week - David Stockton

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

David Stockton picked up where he left off after the Showcase Cup with another dominant offensive performance against the Warriors. It’s always kind of tough to do this segment with just one game on the week, but Stockton was critical in the game on Monday night. He’s been consistently healthy after missing the first part of the season and has been consistently awesome for the Hustle. He stepped up with some guys down on Monday and was the guy to get things going offensively late against the Warriors.

Week 1 Grade - A

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

The loss stings, but Jason March considers the game a success against the Warriors. They got key minutes out of guys like Josh Nzeakor and Tyler Hagedorn who have had very limited practice time with the squad. It was a tough matchup for the Hustle, with the Warriors having two-way player Quinndary Weatherspoon as well as assignment players Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga. All things considered, the Hustle played very well but just had unfortunate luck that it was easy for the Warriors to assign Moody (and Kuminga to a lesser extent) with Golden State in town to face off against the Grizzlies the next night.

Week 2 Preview

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

Iowa Wolves (2-0) vs. Memphis Hustle 1/13 6:30 PM CT

Sioux Falls Skyforce (2-1) vs. Memphis Hustle 1/15 7:00 PM CT

Sioux Falls Skyforce (2-1) vs. Memphis Hustle 1/16 3:00 PM CT

Salt Lake City Stars (0-2) vs. Memphis Hustle 1/18 8:00 PM CT

Game 2 Preview: The Hustle will tip off a 6-game road trip with a game against the Iowa Wolves. The Wolves are led by Brian Bowen II, two-way player McKinley Wright IV and Vincent Edwards who all average 19 points per game. The Wolves don’t get much offense outside of those three, so if the Hustle can slow one of them down, they’ll have a solid chance at defeating the Wolves.

Game 3 & 4 Preview: The Hustle will then travel to Sioux Falls for a back-to-back with the Skyforce. The Skyforce are led by DJ Stewart, Tarkus Ferguson and Micah Potter who all contribute on the offensive end. The Skyforce aren’t an overpowering offensive team, so if the Hustle can put up the points like they did on Monday night, they should be able to win if they can turn the game into a shootout.

Game 5 Preview: The Hustle road trip will continue with a back-to-back against the Salt Lake City Stars. The games are being played after having been previously rescheduled due to travel complications with the Hustle. The Stars have not been that good this G League season but Carsen Edwards, Jared Wilson-Frame and Macio Teague have the ability to get things cooking and going offensively for the Wolves. With the Jazz having a handful of players entering Health & Safety Protocols, it seems unlikely SLC gets Jared Butler on assignment especially since he is in protocols himself. The Hustle should be able to handle the Stars in the first game of the back-to-back.

A critical component of the Hustle’s upcoming schedule will be the availability of some key guys. They figure to get Freddie Gillespie back by Thursday, while Shaq Buchanan and Tyrell Terry should also start getting more extended minutes once the team can get a few practices in. With those guys available, the Hustle can hold their own with anyone alongside David Stockton and Ahmad Caver but if they are out or playing limited minutes it will create a heavier load on Stockton and Caver which could result in more tough loses like the Hustle had on Monday.

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