Sydney Kings are within sight of creating their own piece of NBL history but coach Will Weaver is more concerned about his side's development over the final rounds of the regular season.
The title favourites have held top spot on the ladder since the opening round and would become the first team in league history to sit on top of the ladder from round one through to the end of the season.
The Kings went into Friday's away clash against the New Zealand Breakers in New Plymouth with a golden opportunity to move two wins ahead of second-placed Perth with six games to play.
But the visitors struggled to execute on offence as the Breakers completed a dramatic fourth-quarter comeback, leaving Weaver to dwell on the status of his top-ranked squad with the post-season fast approaching.
"I think we are still trying to learn what kind of offensive team we can be and the difference between great looks that don't go in and some average looks that we are forcing," Weaver said after Sydney's 88-81 loss to the Breakers.
"Any time you play New Zealand, they do a great job of protecting the rim without shot blockers.
"They are clever about it, they're tough, they're smart and we didn't have a solution for that."
Veteran Andrew Bogut did not travel with the team to New Zealand, the Kings opting to manage the current league MVP's playing time in preparation for their impeding finals campaign.
With Bogut unavailable and import Jae'sean Tate fouling out early in the fourth quarter, the Kings' offence fell flat in the closing stages as the Breakers made a series of clutch baskets to keep their slim play-off hopes alive.
Bogut will be back in action for Sunday's home game against South East Melbourne and with the Kings also due to face rivals Perth and Melbourne in the coming weeks, Weaver feels his team can only benefit from a tough lead-in to the finals.
"I think every team we play plays with great intensity, and obviously health, fitness and what the schedule's like, all that stuff comes into play," he said.
"It's much better to be in the situation we are in where we are not worried about our post-season life as much.
"But the focus for us is not on what other people are doing, it's just appreciating the fact we get a chance to go against these teams that are going to play with playoff-type intensity and have been playing that way for a long time when they see us."
Australian Associated Press