Brett Maher, league legend and court name holder for the Adelaide 36ers, believes that Matt Hodgson’s time as a starter is up, and import Josh Childress should be inserted into the first five.
Posting to his Facebook page, Maher reasons that Hodgson, who is leading the team in fouls, would be protected from the referees so can be more of an impact at the end of games.
An excellent big man in the NBL, Hodgson is shooting a phenomenal 69.4% from the field and averaging 10.9 rebounds per 40 minutes. However, he has been hampered by personal fouls, averaging a whopping seven fouls per 40 minutes, which is fourth in the league for qualified players. This was showcased in Adelaide’s win against Sydney in October, where Hodgson fouled four times in only eight minutes.
On the other hand, Childress has finally started coming out of his shell and showing the skills he possessed when he was named to the All-NBL First team for the 2014/15 season. Integrating into a new team can always be troublesome, but it seems that Childress and the Sixers are finally coming to terms with each other.
With Adelaide always trying to run and gun, shown by the team leading the league in points per game and pace, having a quicker player on the court like Childress would be beneficial to their success. The change also puts pressure on opposing second units to guard such a big, skilled big man in Hodgson.
The Sixers are in third place on the NBL ladder with six wins from eleven games but are not in the same bracket as New Zealand and Perth who are genuine title contenders.
Moving to the bench may be a hit to the ego, but if someone as knowledgeable and entwined with the Adelaide 36ers as Brett Maher floats the idea, it might be worth considering.