Resurgent centre AJ Ogilvy knows the next seven days have the potential to be season defining for the Illawarra Hawks.
The Hawks have the chance to put themselves back in the top four leading into the Christmas period, with a double header looming against Cairns Taipans and Adelaide 36ers over the weekend.
Friday's road encounter with a desperate Cairns outfit will be quickly followed by a testing fixture against Adelaide, who they beat in an explosive clash last time out.
A pair of victories could see them jump dramatically back into the finals fray, but defeat in both road clashes would see them slip to 4-9 on the season and make the road to the post-season an uphill battle.
"These two games are very important for us," Ogilvy said.
"If we take care of the one in Cairns, then we can look at Adelaide and focus on those games coming at us over Christmas a bit slower.
"If we drop this one in Cairns it puts us in a bit of a hole.
"That's where our mind is at now, making sure that our mind doesn't get too far ahead and that we are taking care of the one in front of us.
"I think this one in Cairns is very important for us though, and for our season."
Cairns have struggled to build any momentum this season since suffering an 11-point loss to the Hawks in round two.
Ogilvy was stranded on the sidelines for that victory alongside Illawarra skipper Kevin White.
Both will take part when the two clubs face-off again in Cairns as the Hawks prepare to take a fully-fit squad on the road.
"With how well the guys did last time, I think we do match up pretty well with them," Ogilvy said.
"I am definitely excited to get out there.
“We have had a couple of weeks without games now so we've had enough practice and are ready to get back out there on the game court."
Ogilvy was expecting a tough battle with the Taipans front-court, which includes Boomers representative Nathan Jawai.
"They are utilising [Jawai] a lot better this season as well," Ogilvy said.
"They are putting him in positions where he is going to be successful which they haven't been doing a great job of the last few years but he is moving really well and he made his way back into the national team, which is great.
"He has definitely been playing some great basketball."