Wollongong captain Oscar Forman has urged the Hawks to back themselves if they get open shots in tomorrow night's road duel with NBL titleholders New Zealand.
The Hawks (9-12) have lost all three of their clashes with the league-leading Breakers (19-3), and dropped out of the top four for the first time this season with last week's home loss to Melbourne.
A couple of players passed up open shots against the Tigers and Forman doesn't want to see a repeat against the championship favourites.
"If we're open, whoever's shooting the shot has to know they have full support in making that shot," the 12th-year forward said.
"Once we've made three or four passes and had some ball movement, that's usually the time for someone to be aggressive, to go to work and take what's given to them.
"You don't want to be reluctant with the ball or second-guess yourself, you need to be assertive and aggressive with the basketball."
Needing at least four more wins to qualify for the playoffs, the Hawks can't afford to take a passive approach into any of their final seven games.
It will probably mean a few extra bumps and bruises to ice, but Wollongong need to adopt a kill-or-be-killed mentality to save their season.
"It's tough because you want to look after your fouls early and you can't be doing anything untoward that's going to result in early fouls and make you sit on the bench, because that just puts pressure on the rest of the team," Forman said.
"By the same token, you also can't be that team that's constantly playing on its heels.
"You want to be the team out there throwing punches, so to speak.
"You want to come in with a game plan and force [opposing] players to do things they don't normally do and force teams into shooting shots we want them to take."
Regardless of tomorrow's result, the Hawks have to get straight back to Wollongong for a Sunday afternoon home meeting with Townsville.
"A double-header is a good opportunity to get back on track," Forman said.
"Losing 10 of our last 12, obviously that's not great, but we've been in pretty much every contest .
"New Zealand are on a fantastic roll, so we need to make sure we can upset their party."