HE'S been full of praise for his younger players but Hawks coach Matt Flinn isn't pointing the finger at his veterans after another match-turning run took Sunday's clash with South East Melbourne away from them.
The Phoenix trailed at quarter-time but went on a 17-0 run in the second term to lead by as much as 18. The Hawks gave them a hell of a scare in the fourth but the gap proved too much to reel in.
It was a similar story against Perth on Friday night, with the Cats putting on a 24-5 run either side of quarter-time to effectively take the game away.
A 15-4 run to start the third quarter also proved decisive in their previous loss to the Phoenix in round 13, with a 19-4 run to start their round 12 clash with New Zealand also game-defining.
Flinn admits it's a source of frustration but says he's not about to start pitching his sections of his roster against each other.
"It's always a balancing act between giving [young guys] an opportunity and then playing veteran guys," Flinn said.
"Those [veteran] guys get a lot of opportunity as well. Age was not a factor [on Sunday] I just went with the guys who were actually producing and who I felt were in a great flow of the game.
"There's no question those older guys have a lot of experience in following the scouts and seeing situations they've been in before and not being fazed in those parts of the game when teams are running at you.
"But you only get experience by going through those runs so I'm really happy at the moment to try and give [younger guys] as much development as we can."
There's no question Sam Froling, who had 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Daniel Grida (13 points) were instrumental in turning the tide, but Flinn said his side left itself too much to do.
"We spoke about having no fear and playing with some swagger and they did that," Flinn said.
"I felt they increased the pace of the game, we made a few adjustments on the fly and they handled it well and they got on the glass.
"We got lots of stops in the first [quarter] and then I don't think we got back to back stops until maybe the fourth quarter. They were a huge part of that.
"Credit to South East Melbourne, they gave us a lesson in how to share the ball and how to move the ball. We beat them in a lot of categories but they nearly doubled our assists.
"That's the sign of a team comfortable in their skin and in their system."
After a grueling run of doubles, Saturday's road clash with Brisbane is their only assignment this weekend. Flinn said it's important they bounce back to set up a strong finish to their campaign.
"This team's just come off four back to back doubles so I don't know if there was a fatigue factor or element there [on Sunday] knowing we're at the end of a tough patch," Flinn said.
"[The Phoenix] did what they had to do, we'll tick it off and we'll learn and come back bigger and harder next week. I'm still looking forward to this journey.
"We've got six games to go and we want to be spoilers. We're going to continue to grow, we're moving into next year and we're building something positive."