HE was an odds-on favourite for the NBL scoring title the minute he signed, but Hawks point-guard Tyler Harvey is a legit MVP candidate.
Once cannot reach any other conclusion after the 27-year-old sharpshooter carried his side to a 3-0 start to the season with a gritty 90-82 win over the Bullets in Brisbane on Thursday night.
With marquee men Deng Adel and Cam Bairstow again missing through injury, the Hawks trailed by as much as 13 in the opening quarter only for Harvey to put them on his back with 17 of his 31 points coming in a second-quarter explosion after his side trailed by 10 at the first break.
The Bullets found some answers in the third term, but a composed 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists from skipper AJ Ogilvy proved crucial, while Justinian Jessup - scoreless on the first half - finished with 10 points, six rebounds and six assists.
It was the Hawks' third game in just six days, something that showed in a sluggish start, but found a way to finish over the top of the Bullets on their own floor.
"We're trying to take this one game at a time, every game we clean our slate and try and go 1-0 the next game," Harvey said.
"We came out with a lack of energy. We were very lethargic coming out and that's not like us but in the second, third and fourther quarter we picked up our energy on defence and in rebounding.
"It was a resilient fight tonight. They came out and hit us early but we just had to keep with it and we had a lot of guys that stepped up."
Brian Goorjian's squad will now get a well deserved seven-day spell ahead of their next game against the Taipans back at their temporary base in Cairns.
Nathan Sobey was the man for the Bullets with 24 points, while import Vic Law finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in a game coach Andrej Lemanis will consider his side let slip.
The Bullets intention ton push the pace was clear from the outset, with Law grabbing his first four from the line, with Cadee and Drmic both knocking down their first attempts from long range.
Cadee had a couple more from the line as the lead went out to eight and Sobey's transition slam pushed it into double digits and forced Goorjian into his first time out.
Deng Deng knocked down a triple before the Bullets went on a 9-0 run to close the term and lead by 13 before a crucial three from Isaac White finally halted the run and the quarter.
Goorjian switched to a zone to good effect to start the second term, with Harvey exploding with six quick points, including a transition bucket that forced Lemanis to call timeout.
It did nothing to slow the Hawks scoring machine, who grabbed another seven points, including a monster three from the well beyond the arc, to cut the margin back to just two with three and half minutes left in the term.
Law had six for the term as the Bullets steadied, but Harvey grabbed another couple from the line and added a neat floater on the buzzer to finish with 17 for the term and lock the scores at 38 apiece at the break.
He grabbed another three for his side's first lead of the game to open the third. Sobey fired back with two triples of his own, but Ogilvy chimed in with eight points - four on assists from Froling - as the Hawks went out to a four-point lead.
Sobey kept the Bullets tally ticking over with another long bomb, but Ogilvy's 11th point for the quarter and Jessup's first points saw the Hawks take a seven-point lead, their biggest of the night. Four points to Tyrell Harrison pegged it back to three at the final break.
Drmic had five points to start the fourth, while Jessup had seven points, including his first from beyond the arc as the lead went out to seven. Sobey continued his hot run seven points, going one of two from the line to draw within two with two minutes to play.
Naar and Harvey both kissed one in off the glass, the latter seemingly impossibly as the lead went back out to six with 70 seconds to play. It proved the kiss of death, with Naar and Harvey then closing the show from the line.