Matthew Hodgson
Matthew Hodgson

Bullets only scratching surface of potential

BRISBANE centre Matt Hodgson says the unbeaten Bullets are yet to fire on all cylinders.

Ahead of Sunday's clash with South East Melbourne Phoenix at Melbourne Arena, Hodgson said while the 2-0 start to the 2019-20 NBL campaign was encouraging, it was "nothing to get complacent about by any stretch of the imagination".

Brisbane beat Illawarra in Wollongong in Round 1 and backed that up with a thumping 90-74 victory over Cairns in their first home game at "The Armoury" at QSNC on Friday night.

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Hodgson has been central to their early success and was one of Brisbane's best against the Snakes in the "Sunshine Stoush" with 14 points (seven field goals from seven attempts), four rebounds, two steals and two blocks to go with an outstanding defensive job on Taipans man mountain Nate Jawai in the second half.

Six of Hodgson's 14 points came in the third quarter when the Bullets iced the derby with a 31-14 term that showcased the brand of basketball that Brisbane want to play this season.

"We are starting to get a feel for each other offensively. With so many different pieces and having a pretty disjointed pre-season, we are still not quite sure of each other so the fact that we are still able to pull out wins at this stage, that is a pretty good sign,'' Hodgson said.

"I do like that we are starting to find some action that suits all the new guys. We've got guys who can shoot it, we've got guys who can make some good plays, we are getting guys into position to be successful.

Matthew Hodgson drives to the bucket against Cairns Taipans big man Nate Jawai
Matthew Hodgson drives to the bucket against Cairns Taipans big man Nate Jawai

"Guys are still being selfless … we have to have that sort of mentality to be really good.

"When the adversity hits at some stage during the season, how we handle that is going to be another thing.''

Hodgson said he needed to grab more defensive rebounds for the undersized but mobile Bullets squad and the emergence of centre/forward Will Magnay (nine points, five rebounds, two steals, one block against Cairns) was critical for Brisbane.

"Nobody knows him yet but they will by mid-season, he's a hell of an athlete. His confidence is super high and he's going from strength to strength,'' he said.

"When I'm not on, Magnay's in there cleaning glass, being a monster in rim protection and down the other end, tearing the rim off so he's doing a great job. We are pretty lucky to have him.''

Will Magnay (left) battles with Cameron Oliver of the Taipans
Will Magnay (left) battles with Cameron Oliver of the Taipans

Hodgson said he enjoyed his duel with fellow Boomer Jawai, who had eight points at half-time to help the Taipans to a four-point lead but had just one bucket after the main break.

"I like that match-up because I like going against true centres. Nate is hard for anyone to deal with. He's hard for 'Boges' (Andrew Bogut) to deal with,'' he said.

"He's a monster out there. Anytime you play against someone like that, it's always fun.''