The Bullets want to get past the Hawks, finally. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)
The Bullets want to get past the Hawks, finally. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

Bullets prepare for bogey team

BASKETBALL: The playoffs are out of reach but the Brisbane Bullets can achieve a season goal on Thursday night by beating the Illawarra Hawks.

The Hawks are the only team Brisbane hasn't defeated since returning to the NBL in 2016.

Illawarra beat the Bullets four times last season and can complete another season clean sweep of the Andrej Lemanis-coached team with a win at the Brisbane Convention Centre.

"They've certainly proved a difficult match-up for us so far this season and also going back to last season," Lemanis said.

"They play at a relatively frenetic pace. They're the fastest team in the league behind Adelaide and for some reason we've been able to play more controlled against Adelaide, whereas against Illawarra we've fallen into playing at a tempo that suits them more than it suits us.

Andrej Lemanis gives Perrin Buford direction at training.
Andrej Lemanis gives Perrin Buford direction at training. AAP - David Clark

"A lot of it's been instigated by our turnovers. We've just got to do a better job of looking after the ball … and they've smashed us on the boards the three times we've played them, so we've got to get them off the glass.

"We've also got to find a way to contain their three-point shooters."

It's Brisbane's first match since the departure of star import Perrin Buford, who was granted a release from the club on Tuesday.

"The unfortunate reality over the last couple of weeks was that Perrin by his actions had indicated he was no longer committed to the group and wasn't that interested in what we were trying to achieve as a team and a club," Lemanis said.

"The boys are glad that as an organisation we've been able to stay true to our values and hopefully that will be reflected in the way they play (against Illawarra)."


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