HE'S talked a lot about the future this season, but Hawks coach Matt Flinn is also taking a fair look at the past as he looks to navigate an incredibly tough rookie campaign.
The Hawks sunk to 5-18 on the back of a 29-point defeat to Brisbane on Saturday and face the seemingly insurmountable task of bouncing back against Sydney in Wollongong on Friday.
It's the exact task they managed in upsetting the Kings on New Year's Eve, but doing so this time around looks an even steeper climb. As does adding to their win tally with five games remaining, with road games in Cairns, Melbourne and a return clash in Sydney to come.
Their final home game will also come against a Scotty Hopson-led New Zealand side that's making a surging late run at the playoffs.
Should they fail to notch another win they'll finish with the worst regular-season record in the club's history. It won' look good in the record books, but it won't show the extent of the injury crisis the club has dealt with.
It won't show the accelerated development the club's young crop has enjoyed either. In fact, having been involved with the club since he was a towel-boy, Flinn can see shades of the the club's 1997 season that saw just seven wins from 30 games.
Flinn recalls a young Glen Saville and Mat Campbell - now jersey retirees - being the major beneficiaries in time on the floor.
"You look at Perth and the legacy they create over there because they're able to hang on to people for a long period of time," Flinn said.
"You build a certain culture out of that. Our club's had it ourselves with Mat Campbell and Glen Saville, that whole era.
"When they came in in the mid 90s there were certainly some teething problems there and they got a lot of time before their time. We're going to try and do that with these guys.
"Hopefully this time next year we're sitting here answering completely different questions about us making a run at the playoffs or whatever it might be."
The fruits of that goal were evident in Angus Glover's 18-point performance in the the loss to the Bullets on Saturday after being given his first start in the absence of injured import Darington Hobson.
"I've said all along I love coaching them and I love the position we're in, despite the record, where I can accelerate their development," Flinn said.
"There's a little bit of short-term pain now but we're going to have some long-term gain on it. That's the growth mindset we're having throughout our club, from the top down.
"I feel like we've created a better identity for ourselves in the last few weeks and it's something we're going to carry forward. I think everyone's seen what they're capable of in spurts.
"I think we have trouble scoring at times, there's no question we need some help in that area. If we put some talent around them, and some scoring, we're going to be on our way."
It's the constant silver lining, but Flinn said it did little to dilute the disappointment in his side's second-half meltdown on Saturday.
"We just had a different mindset in the second half," he said.
"I think we started feeling good about ourselves a little bit. I thought we had great flow in the first two quarters, we had them on the back foot and we were getting some good dribble penetration.
"In the second half it just wasn't there for whatever reason. I'll evaluate myself, everyone else will evaluate themselves as well, and we'll move on."