Bullets head west without fear
BRISBANE big man Matt Hodgson says beating Perth in an NBL semi-final series is not Mission Impossible.
And the Bullets centre knows what he is talking about after being part of the Adelaide side that swept the Wildcats out of last season's semi-finals.
Brisbane and Perth will meet at Perth's RAC Arena in the opening match of the best-of-three series on Thursday, February 28 before game two at Boondall on Saturday, March 2.
If a third game is required, the teams will travel cross-country again for the decider in Perth on Monday, March 4.
The teams split the four-game regular season series with the home team winning on every occasion. The Wildcats needed a buzzer beater from star import Bryce Cotton to claim one of those victories in Perth.
Hodgson said Brisbane will head west with no fear.
"We feel good about going to Perth. We played them at the start of the season when they were playing really well and were something like 10-1, 10-2. One of those losses was to us,'' he said.
"We feel confident about our chances with them. We know it's going to be a hard and tough series but we don't go in feeling scared about it by any stretch of the imagination.
"Bryce Cotton is a mismatch for any team but we feel like we have a lot of talent and a lot of depth and we match-up well overall with Perth.''
Hodgson said they key to beating Perth in Perth was having a significant lead going into the last quarter as the RAC Arena crowd gave the Wildcats great energy in the final term.
In lieu of a big buffer in the run home, the ability to keep scrapping and keep fighting on every possession was paramount.
The travel schedule for the Bullets-Wildcats series is especially brutal compared to the one facing Sydney and Melbourne in the other semi-final.
Both series start on February 28 but Brisbane and Perth have to back up a day earlier than the Kings and United despite a five-hour flight for both teams compared to the one-hour hop for Sydney and Melbourne.
The NBL says venue availability, broadcast requirements and maximising attendances were the reasons for the schedule.
Hodgson said cramming potentially three games and a number of cross-country flights into less than a week was "not ideal" but Brisbane would embrace the challenge.
"I understand why they are doing it. In last year's grand final, it was best-of-five and it stretched over two to three weeks,'' he said.
"Perth have got to catch flights too but I know the Bullets will do everything to help with our recovery so all we have to worry about are the games.''
Hodgson's aggression and physicality in the paint has been a key pillar in Brisbane's return to the play-offs but the Boomers centre has not been happy with his recent form.
"I didn't finish off on the best note in the last two to three weeks when I didn't play as well as I have been so I'm glad I'll get to redeem myself in the finals,'' Hodgson said.