Adam Gibson (right) of Brisbane Bullets tries to dribble past Tai Wesley of Melbourne United.
Adam Gibson (right) of Brisbane Bullets tries to dribble past Tai Wesley of Melbourne United.

Gibson confident of facing Hawks

BULLETS bench weapon Adam Gibson says he is a 50-50 chance of overcoming a calf injury in time for Friday night's crucial NBL clash with Illawarra.

Gibson has given Brisbane plenty of grunt at both ends of the floor in his new role off the bench and his availability will come down to a "game day decision'' after a modified week of training.

The Bullets have lost their past seven matches to the Hawks across last season, the pre-season and this campaign and missing the London Olympian and dual NBL championship winner would dent their chances of stopping the rot.

Gibson said he will give himself every chance to play against the Hawks who beat Brisbane in Round 3 when a scuffle broke out between the teams.

"I've been running and ball handling and shooting so it feels all right but it's just a matter of how it pulls up … I'll do a pretty good workout at (pre-match) shoot-around and see how it goes,'' Gibson said.

"I've done both calves before and I definitely haven't torn it. I'm quietly confident.''

Gibson said Brisbane needed to knuckle down on defence and hit the boards to negate Illawarra's potent offensive weapons and he does not expect a repeat of the stoush from Round 3.

"The league hyped up a melee. I don't know why but there was really nothing in it. There was a bit of push-and-shove which pretty much happens every game,'' he said.

"We are mad at ourselves that we lost the game not so much the incident but the actual game. We felt like we should have won it and we've been in that situation a few times so it's up to us to get those wins.''

Bullets assistant coach CJ Bruton said attention to detail in defence was the key to success against Illawarra who have been rivals since the start of the NBL in 1979.

"It's been heated (between the teams) all the way through. Some feathers will be ruffled again, where that lands, I'll just keep my mouth closed,'' he said.

"This is a rivalry. They've had the better of us in the last year. I would like to not lose to them again for the rest of this year.''

Brisbane will be without forward Will Magnay (glandular fever) and Matt Kenyon (ankle).