The Memphis Hustle and Osceola Magic came into Friday night’s matchup desperately looking to avoid falling further into the pit of being a sub-.500 team on the season. The Hustle looked invincible in the first half, netting a combined 15 three-point bombs (on 27 attempts), actively moving the ball, and managing to get consistent stops on defense—except for, well, Mac McClung, who went on to torch the Hustle for 44 points on the night.
The second half belonged to the Osceola magic, though, as did the W. Another brutal loss for this Hustle squad that can’t seem to figure it out.
Mac McClung was on an absolute heater for the Magic tonight. The man literally looked like a walking microwave, scoring 44 points on an insane 13-23 from the floor, including 6-13 from 3-point land. The Hustle had no answers for McClung, who was dominant in both halves of basketball. McClung was a consistent issue for Memphis all night long, but believe it or not, he wasn’t even the hero of the game. That award belongs to Trevelin Queen, who completely took over the 4th quarter and decided it was his game, scoring 10 of his 23 points in the final 6 minutes alone. Once Queen and McClung got momentum in the 4th, the Hustle had no answer.
I honestly don’t know if the Hustle’s defense was bad or if this man was just actually playing THAT good.
On to the positives: G.G. Jackson looked like “Good Game” Jackson, tallying 26 points to go along with 11 rebounds while shooting 4-8 from deep. Jason Preston got burned by McClung, but he also provided a solid game, nearly providing a triple-double with 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 9 assists. Adonis Arms contributed 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists on 6-12 shooting from the field as well. The team really did look great Friday night, until they didn’t. They had the momentum, they had the scoring input, they had nearly a 30-point lead, and they had the game in the bag.
So what happened?
The same thing that has haunted the Hustle in all five games so far. Late game execution, consistency, and playing smart while ahead. This is now back-to-back games that the Hustle have blown while leading by 15+ with 10 minutes or less in the ball game, a situation that is very preventable. It will be interesting to see how coach Jason March and the guys recuperate from this rough stretch and what they plan on implementing to avoid these types of situations in the future.
The Hustle will resume action live from the Landers Center Sunday at 1:00 p.m. against the Mexico City Capitanes, aka the Ex-NBA All-Stars, led by former NBA talents including Michael Carter-Williams, Trey Burke, Kenneth Faried, and Juan Tuscano-Anderson. This will be a major test for this young Hustle team, and it will be interesting to see how they step up to the challenge.
If you would like to see Sunday’s matchup, call (901)888-Hoop, visit https://memphis.gleague.nba.com/ticket-central, or visit the Landers Center box office.