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The Hustle Report: The Shaq Buchanan Show

Shaq Buchanan has a monster week as the Hustle finally get healthy

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NBA: Preseason-Atlanta Hawks at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Week 5 Results

Iowa Wolves 103 at Memphis Hustle 111 (3-7)

Birmingham Squadron 129 at Memphis Hustle 116 (3-8)

Texas Legends 97 vs. Memphis Hustle 110 (4-8)

Birmingham Squadron 122 vs. Memphis Hustle 110 (4-9)

Week 5 Headlines

  • Yves Pons gets hurt in game against Wolves
  • Shaq Buchanan sets career high 40-points against Texas
  • Hustle acquire Ben Moore, waive Tyler Hagedorn

Game 10 Breakdown

Iowa Wolves v Memphis Hustle Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Santi Aldama- 28 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals, 3 blocks
  • Shaq Buchanan- 24 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals
  • Cameron Young- 16 points, 5 rebounds
  • Tyrell Terry- 11 points, 5 rebounds, 11 assists
  • Reggie Hearn- 8 points, 5 rebounds

The Hustle were able to make a 16-point comeback and defeat the Iowa Wolves at the Landers Center last week, thanks in large part to Grizzlies assignee Santi Aldama. Yves Pons, who was also assigned, got injured early in the 3rd quarter so Aldama and Shaq Buchanan stepped up to lead the Hustle to victory despite the Wolves getting 26 points from Brian Bowern II and 22 points from McKinley Wright IV. You can check out my full recap here.

Game 11 Breakdown

Memphis Hustle v Sioux Falls Skyforce Photo by Dave Eggen/NBAE via Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Shaq Buchanan- 27 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists
  • Cameron Young- 26 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists
  • Santi Aldama- 22 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists
  • Reggie Hearn- 17 points, 6 rebounds
  • Tyrell Terry- 17 points, 6 assists, 2 steals

The Hustle struggles against the Squadron continued on Superhero Night at the Landers Center. The Hustle had a solid offensive output but couldn’t slow down the dynamic duo of Jared Harper and Darius Adams. The Squadron had 7 of their 10 players score in double figures as the team shot nearly 55% from the field. You can check out my full recap here.

Game 12 Breakdown

Memphis Hustle v Texas Legends Photo by Jim Cowsert/NBAE via Getty Images

Key Stats

  • Shaq Buchanan- 40 points, 14 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals
  • Cameron Young- 22 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals
  • Reggie Hearn- 18 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists
  • EJ Onu- 13 points, 9 rebounds, 7 blocks

The shorthanded Hustle defeated the shorthanded Legends thanks in large part to a career game from Shaq Buchanan. The Hustle needed all of Shaq’s career-high 40 points in the win. The Legends essentially had 7 players available, while the Hustle played the entire second half with just 6 guys after Tyrell Terry didn’t play in the final 24 minutes due to injury. It was a monster performance from Shaq who flashed his all-around abilities, including his improved shooting from deep (7-10 in the game). The Hustle scored the first 15 points of the game and led by 17 in the first quarter, but the Legends responded with a 16-2 run to start the second as the teams battled throughout the second half. Fortunately for the Hustle, they had the best player on the floor in Shaq.

Game 13 Breakdown

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

Key Stats

  • Shaq Buchanan- 28 points, 2 steals
  • Tyrell Terry- 25 points
  • Ahmad Caver- 12 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists
  • David Stockton- 12 points, 3 assists
  • Cameron Young- 9 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists

The Hustle got their butts kicked in Birmingham in a game that saw them trail by as many as 43 points in the game. The Hustle used a 36-14 4th quarter to make the game look respectable but the Hustle were just never really in things from the jump. Shaq continued to be great and Tyrell Terry had one of his better shooting performances of the season in the loss. The game did feature both David Stockton and Ahmad Caver for the first time in quite some time.

Hustle Stats

20.9: It’s been a career year for Shaq Buchanan this season with the Hustle. Buchanan so far this “regular season” is setting career high’s in points per game (20.9) rebounds (6.1), assists (4.8) and steals (1.8). He’s been flashing his all-around potential offensively after coming into the G-League known predominately as a defensive guy. Shaq has really put it all together this season and has been the steady force for the Hustle despite all the injuries around him.

84%: You’ve probably heard this before if you listen to the Hustle broadcasts, but opposing teams are shooting a league high 84% from the free throw line against the Hustle. It’s one of those weird stats that there really isn’t much you can do about either, other than hope that it balances out at some point. To their credit, the Hustle do a good job of limiting free throw opportunities for their opponents, allowing the second fewest free throw attempts per game in the league at 12 attempts. Still, the 84% opponents shoot is an absurd number through a 12 game sample size.

MVP of the Week - Shaq Buchanan

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

Shaq continues to be a dominant offensive force for the Hustle, showcased by him scoring 20+ points in every game this week. Buchanan’s growth on the offensive end has been great to see and much needed for a Hustle team that lacked some offensive firepower with all the injuries.

Week 5 Grade - B

Birmingham Squadron v Memphis Hustle Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

A solid 2-2 week for the Hustle, with both losses coming against a good Birmingham Squadron team. With all the injuries and lack of availabilities, getting back into a rhythm as the Hustle head home for a long homestand is a solid week. The guys have fought hard in every game and haven’t folded, even when down by quite a bit.

Week 6 Preview

Iowa Wolves v Memphis Hustle Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Iowa Wolves at Memphis Hustle 2/10 10:30 AM CT (Financial Literacy Game)

Oklahoma City Blue at Memphis Hustle 2/13 1:00 PM CT

Oklahoma City Blue at Memphis Hustle 2/14 7:00 PM CT

Game 14 Preview: The Wolves return to the Landers Center a week later and will have to deal with a raucous crowd as thousands of students from schools in DeSoto County will fill up the Landers Center for the Financial Literacy Education Day Game. The early tip, plus the large and high pitched crowd, will make things much different from last week’s matchup. The Hustle will need to slow down Brian Bowen II, as well as McKinley Wright IV if he is healthy and available. The game will tip off a season-high 7 game home stand for the Hustle.

Games 15 & 16 Preview: The Hustle’s 7 game home stand continues with a back-to-back against the Oklahoma City Blue. The Blue’s success is largely dependent on who they have available to them on assignment or two ways. D.J. Wilson and Melvin Frazier Jr. are solid players, but the Blue are at their best when they have Aleksej Pokusevski, Theo Maledon and Isaiah Roby on assignment. With the Hustle at home for a while, they may get additional assignment help as well with 2021 Memphis Grizzlies draft pick Santi Aldama who figures to get more run, when able, in Southaven.

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