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The Hustle Report: A Texas Two-Step in Southaven

The Hustle split the series against the Legends before hitting the road to Texas

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Birmingham Squardron v Memphis Hustle Photo by Brandon Dill/NBAE via Getty Images

Week 4 Results

Texas Legends 139 @ Memphis Hustle 129 (3-5)

Texas Legends 113 @ Memphis Hustle 120 (4-5)

Game 8 Breakdown

Memphis Hustle v Mexico City Captains Photo by Pablo Lomelin/NBAE via Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Dakota Mathias- 27 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals
  • Matt Hurt- 27 points, 4 rebounds
  • Damien Jefferson- 17 points, 8 rebounds
  • Justin Bean- 11 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals
  • Terrell Brown Jr.- 10 points, 10 assists, 2 steals

The Hustle dropped their first game of the back-to-back against the Texas Legends after the Thanksgiving holiday, in large part due to Tyler Dorsey (39 points) and Grant Riller (30 points) going off for Texas. Dakota Mathias and Matt Hurt did as much as they could offensively, but the defense was mostly non-existent through the first 3 quarters of the game. You can check out my full recap here.

Game 9 Breakdown

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

Key Stats:

  • Matt Hurt- 22 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 3 blocks
  • Justin Bean- 17 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists
  • EJ Onu- 16 points
  • Dakota Mathias- 16 points, 3 assists
  • Terrell Brown Jr.- 13 points, 5 assists
  • Jacob Gilyard- 8 points, 9 assists

The Hustle won a thriller in their rematch against the Texas Legends in OT last night. The Legends were without the game high scorer from the previous night in Tyler Dorsey and the Hustle took advantage despite the Legends getting 32 points from Grant Riller. The Hustle were led in the first quarter by Justin Bean with Matt Hurt and EJ Onu being consistent threats in the pick and roll. Throw in some late game heroics from Dakota Mathias and the Hustle got their first overtime win of the season with the new Elam Ending rules. Check out my full recap here.

Hustle Stats

7: I touched on it in the Game 9 Breakdown, but the Elam Ending is just a ton of fun. In the overtime periods during the Showcase Cup schedules, the 2 minute overtime period is replaced with the Elam Ending. The first team to score 7 points and reach the “target score” wins the game. For example, last night both teams were tied at 113 at the end of regulation, making 120 the “target score.” It creates unique strategies for the teams and how they choose to close out games. For the Hustle, they were fortunate to win the tip and score 4 points quickly but then started settling for triples to try and end the game. A timeout by Jason emphasized the focus back in the paint before a fast break opportunity set up the Dakota Mathias game winner. Each possession counts in a standard overtime period, but it just feels more intense when you have a target score compared to a running clock.

MVP of the Week - Justin Bean

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

Justin Bean may not have had the scoring streak both Mathias (21.5 ppg) and Hurt (24.5 ppg) had this week, but Bean really proved his value as a glue guy with the Hustle in his performances this week. He averaged 14 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.5 steals per game against the Legends. Bean also does so much that doesn’t show up in the traditional box score. He’s always tipping out missed shots, which really helps the Hustle in the rebound battle when he’s not hauling in the board himself. He makes smart plays and just seems to always find himself in the right place at the right time. Tipping his own shot that was blocked to Mathias for the game-winner last night was just a glimpse at the high IQ Bean has on the court. Matt Hurt’s resurgence was a great story this week, as was Mathias’ always consistent production but it’s Bean who takes home the glory this week.

Assignment Tracker

The Hustle were without both two-way players and had no assignees in the matchups this week. What was initially thought to be a fun battle between Jaden Hardy and Kenneth Lofton Jr. turned into no assignment players and just one monster game from Mavs two-way player Tyler Dorsey

Week 5 Preview

Memphis Hustle v Austin Spurs Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

Memphis Hustle @ Austin Spurs (4-5) 12/2 7:30 PM CT

Memphis Hustle vs. Mexico City Capitanes (6-5) 7 PM CT

Game 10 Preview: The Hustle hit the road for a game against the Spurs in Austin. Naturally, the Spurs were the Hustle’s first overtime game of the season with the Elam Ending where they lost 102-99. The Hustle had both two-way players for that matchup, and unless the Grizzlies injury shortens for Friday, the Hustle will have to replace their combined 43 points. Fortunately for them, Alize Johnson (27 points in prior matchup) was recently called up and signed by the San Antonio Spurs, so they figure to be without his services as well. Whichever team responds without their key players from the previous matchup better will likely win. The Spurs still have solid guys like Tommy Kuhse and Chaundee Brown Jr., but the Hustle are a deeper team and should keep be able to improve upon their standing in the Showcase Cup.

Game 11 Preview: The Hustle will then return home to face off against one of the more confusing teams of the Showcase Cup in the Mexico City Capitanes. The Hustle split the series in Mexico City earlier this year, and Kenneth Lofton Jr.’s potential availability could be critical for this matchup. Neither Shabazz Napier nor Jahlil Okafor played in the Capitanes latest game a few days ago, so their availability appears to be in question. Without them, the Capitanes are weaker but still have solid guys like Bruno Caboclo, Mason Jones and Gary Clark that the Hustle will need to slow down.

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