It was yet another disappointing result for the Austin Spurs as they fell 110-103 to the Birmingham Squadron on Thursday night. Both teams that are struggling this season desperately needed a win and it was the bottom team in the Western Conference who was able to pull out the win.
Now, Austin faces a two-game series vs. the first-place Memphis Hustle. The next two games will not be an easy matchup for Austin, who has struggled to find any consistency this season. They now match up with one of the hottest teams in the league who is looking for a deep run in the playoffs.
Austin Spurs vs. Memphis Hustle
When: March 4th, 2023
Tip-off: 7:00 P.M. CST
Location: Landers Center, Southaven, Mississippi
Where to watch: NBAGLeague.com
Austin Spurs Preview
It was safe to say the loss to Birmingham on Thursday night really summed up the season so far for Austin. The issues have been piling on the San Antonio Spurs affiliate all season long, and the feeling now is that the playoffs are well out of reach.
In the loss to Birmingham, Chaundee Brown Jr. continues to put up consistent performances and has been Austin’s top man alongside Brandon Randolph. Brown had 18 points and eight rebounds while Randolph finished the night with 14 points and four assists. Recent signing Julien Champagnie received another start at the center position and finished the night with a solid double-double of 16 points and 11 assists.
Champagnie has been a decent mid-season signing for Austin to replace the dominant Charles Bassey. Kaleb Johnson also put in his name to potentially receive more game time as he had 10 points and six rebounds in just 17 minutes off the bench.
Austin’s issues all season have stemmed from giving up big leads around the 2nd-3rd quarter marks of the game. They usually close the games down in the fourth, but they are so far behind that it is too much to overcome with too little of time. Lack of size in the forward areas and the tendency to get beaten in transition has hurt Austin tremendously this season.
Memphis Hustle Preview
The number one team in the West, the Memphis Hustle are many people’s favorites to win the entire G-League this season. In their last game vs. Grand Rapids, the Hustle showed the perfect balance they have with a high-producing offense and a stout defense. Dakota Mathias is one of Memphis’ stallworths and had 13 points, seven assists, and five rebounds, and is a key cog in the Hustle machine. Jacob Gilyard is a playmaking machine and will be a player to watch for at the top of the key constructing the offense. The Hustle does an impressive job of really getting production from a widespread amount of players during games, which is a key to success. Memphis may be without big man Kenny Lofton Jr. for this matchup
With the odds stacked against Austin going on the road vs. the best team in the conference, could there be a massive upset on the cards?