Southern Huskies sit one win outside the final four, but assistant coach Brett Smith has still released the pressure on the Tasmanians ahead of their toughest New Zealand road trip yet this weekend.
"I don't think we'll make the finals," Smith admitted of the rookie club's prospects.
Despite getting onto a stirring four-game winning streak before twice dropping games to Canterbury Rams in the state, a rematch against the third-placed team at Christchurch on Friday night is not about sounding out a spot in the NZNBL finals.
But a further loss to Southland Sharks at Invercargill come Saturday is set to spell the end of the Huskies' hopes prior to their final four games split between New Zealand and the Silverdome.
"It will be nice if we can get some wins, but the main thing is that we just have a real crack at it and see where it ends up, obviously," Smith said. "They beat us by 11 and two, and we played significantly better from game one to game two, but we're now playing on their court."
The Launceston-based assistant said their team isn't pinning the hopes of back-to-back upsets in the absence of captain Craig Moller.
Coach Anthony Stewart has called in Tad Dufelmeier from the Huskies' NBL1 affiliate for reinforcements.
After an initial horror road trip in April that had included flight cancellations and being forced to sleep hundreds of kilometres from one of the playing venues, Smith said the South Island double-header will be more difficult on the floor.
"The main thing is that we compete well with two of the top sides," Smith said.
"But it's going to be difficult without Craig Moller, who won't be making the trip.
"He's away with the NBL side in China, so to have him out is still going to leave a big hole in the team."