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The Hustle Report: Prepping for a busy week

The Hustle tip off a busy week with a matchup against the Wolves

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South Bay Lakers v Memphis Hustle Photo by Brandon Dill/NBAE via Getty Images

Week 4 Results

South Bay Lakers 127 at Memphis Hustle 124 (2-7)

Week 4 Headlines

  • Freddie Gillespie suffers knee injury vs. Lakers
  • Grizzlies assign Santi Aldama and Yves Pons to Hustle for upcoming games

Game 9 Breakdown

South Bay Lakers v Memphis Hustle Photo by Brandon Dill/NBAE via Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Shaq Buchanan- 29 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 blocks
  • Reggie Hearn- 18 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals
  • EJ Onu- 17 points, 8 rebounds, 6 blocks
  • Tyrell Terry- 16 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists
  • Cameron Young- 15 points

The Hustle dropped their second game against the Lakers as they were swept in Southaven. The Hustle lost Freddie Gillespie early in the 3rd quarter, leaving the Hustle with just 7 healthy bodies for the second half and overtime. EJ Onu did well stepping in for Gillespie with 17 points and 6 blocks but the Hustle were gassed late as the Lakers were able to make the clutch baskets to win the game in overtime. You can check out my full recap here.

Hustle Stats

South Bay Lakers v Memphis Hustle Photo by Brandon Dill/NBAE via Getty Images

17.6: Similar to their NBA-affiliate Grizzlies, the Hustle love to get out and run. They are currently 4th in the G League averaging 17.6 fast break points per game. It is a bit of a double edged sword for the Hustle, as scoring on the break requires more activity from the team which has led to them wearing down due to the limited bodies. Fast break points also typically come from generating stops and the Hustle struggle to do that unless it is from creating turnovers. With extra bodies and likely better health, look for the Hustle to try and run even more this week.

MVP of the Week - Shaq Buchanan

South Bay Lakers v Memphis Hustle Photo by Brandon Dill/NBAE via Getty Images

Back-to-back MVP of the Week’s for Shaq, who stepped up big time with the absence of some of the other core Hustle guys. The team stepped up in a valiant effort against the Lakers but it was Shaq who kept the Hustle in the game with his infectious energy despite playing 40+ minutes.

Week 4 Grade - A

South Bay Lakers v Memphis Hustle Photo by Brandon Dill/NBAE via Getty Images

The Lakers are currently the 3rd best team in the Western Conference and feature the January Player of the Month in Mason Jones. The Hustle, down Ahmad Caver, David Stockton, and then Freddie Gillespie were able to hang in there against a tough squad and narrowly lost in overtime. The team has shown growth despite the injuries piling up and since that is ultimately what the G League is about, I can’t grade the Hustle too hard when they had to start a guy who had been with the team for just a couple of days in the lone matchup of the week.

Week 5 Preview

Memphis Hustle v Birmingham Squadron Photo by Mercedes Oliver/NBAE via Getty Images

Iowa Wolves (6-3) at Memphis Hustle 2/2 7:00 PM CT

Birmingham Squadron (6-5) at Memphis Hustle 2/4 7:00 PM CT

Texas Legends (5-4) vs. Memphis Hustle 2/5 7:30 PM CT

Birmingham Squadron (6-5) vs. Memphis Hustle 2/8 7:00 PM CT

Game 10 Preview: The Hustle return to the court after having a week off to face off against the Iowa Wolves. The Hustle figure to get both Ahmad Caver and David Stockton back from injury, with the additions of Memphis Grizzlies assignees Santi Aldama and Yves Pons bringing welcome bodies for the Hustle. The Wolves won the first game of the regular season after the Wolves had 7 players score in double figures. Let by Isaiah Briscoe and McKinley Wright IV, the Wolves used a 40-19 4th quarter run to defeat the Hustle by 15. Fresh legs and extra bodies should help the Hustle play a more complete 48 minutes.

Game 11 Preview: The Hustle will wrap up their home stand with a matchup against the Birmingham Squadron on Superhero Night at the Landers Center. The Hustle were swept in Birmingham against the Squadron leading into the Showcase Cup. The Hustle were limited to just 8 available bodies against the Squadron in the first matchup and 7 in the second. Assignees Trey Murphy and Jaxson Hayes were big for the Squadron in the first matchup but it was Jared Harper and Joe Young who really torched the Hustle in December. The Hustle will need to keep their cool and not let the officials dictate the game, as both Jason March and Reggie Hearn were ejected in the second matchup.

Game 12 Preview: The Hustle will tip off a 2-game road trip before spending the rest of February at home. They’ll travel to Frisco, Texas to face off against the Texas Legends. The Hustle split their series with the Legends leading into the Showcase Cup but the Legends are a fairly different team this time around. Eugene Omoruyi, who torched the Hustle in the Legends win, is out with a season-ending injury. The Legends are still high powered with Carlik Jones and former Grizzlies call up Dakota Mathias. Feron Hunt also showcases a ton of athleticism and fun for the Legends, giving them a really solid top 3 players. The Grizzlies did get lucky that Justin Jackson signed a 10-day with the Suns last night, meaning he will miss the matchup with the Hustle.

Game 13 Preview: The Hustle will wrap up the road trip with another visit to Birmingham to face off against the Squadron. The Hustle will need to improve upon whatever does not work in the matchup on Friday and really key in on Jared Harper and Joe Young (plus any assignment guys) to limit the Squadron offensive attack.

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