Rival coaches Gordie McLeod and Shane Heal are hoping to make all the right moves in tonight's final chapter of their season-long "chess match" at WIN Entertainment Centre.
Wollongong coach McLeod drew first blood with an opening-round home win over Sydney before Heal steered the Kings to home defeats of the Hawks in rounds six and 11.
Both coaches have added new wrinkles to their offensive and defensive systems since they last met three months ago, though most of those changes were necessitated by injury.
Heal expects 2009-10 NBL coach of the year McLeod to have a few tricks up his sleeve for tonight's critical clash.
"They've gone through similar things with key players out as we have," Heal said. "Both teams have to make adjustments to the last times we played. Wollongong will certainly do that.
"The last two games have been a defensive slog and neither team has shot the ball well against each other. They mix up their defences so well with their zones and everything else, and we feel like we're ready for that, but we're certainly going to have to shoot the ball well."
Heal is counting on having key veterans Ian Crosswhite and James Harvey back in the starting five after injuries forced them to sit out last week's loss to Perth.
"Crosswhite and Harves have both had elements of training so that's been a positive thing for us," the four-time Olympian said.
"We didn't want to push the envelope and take any risks last week with those guys. It's about trying to get ready for this game."
The Kings plan to keep close tabs on Wollongong scoring leader Adris Deleon but are mindful of other threats too.
"He's certainly one of the keys because he's just dangerous. You can play good defence on Adris and he can still score," Heal said.
"We have to be careful not to get into too much about Adris, because Oscar [Forman] and Larry [Davidson] and [Tim] Coenraad are so dangerous, and [Malcolm] Grant's there as well.
"They've got the firepower and if you concentrate too much on Adris they'll get it to the other people and penalise you, so we're certainly aware of those aspects that we have to take care of."