THE Hawks season is coming to an end - mercifully given all the club has had to endure on and off the floor in the toughest campaign Hoopla has covered in our time at this desk.
As is fast becoming a trend there may well be even more to write about the Hawks over the offseason - ownership change, player contracts and all the rest - but as for right now it's about done and dusted.
There's still a game to play in Sydney - and possibly a chance to split a series with a side that ultimately claims a championship. Given that side is the Kings it's a somewhat juicier carrot.
Avoiding the ignominy of finishing with the worst record in the club's history might prove greater motivation but, as difficult as it's been, it hasn't been a campaign without its memorable moments.
The Hawks will hold their end-of-season awards on Saturday, a day after their game and a day before the NBL's own gala evening but, as it's HOOPLA'S last outing for NBL 2019-20, it's time to dole out some gongs of our own.
Hawks MVP: It's interesting one this. last year it was a clear-cut two-horse race between Brian Conklin and Todd Blanchfield - the former getting the nod on this page.
It's a tougher task this year. One normally measures the empirical - stats et cetera - against the intangibles (opinions). Given the season the Hawks have had, we must rely a lot more on the latter.
Truth is one can make a case for several. On the numbers LaMelo Ball obviously rates a mention with his 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists in his 12 games, but playing less than half the season rules him out.
Sunday Dech produced a strong middle part of the season and was clearly the Hawks best defensive player, but it came more in a single explosion than a sustained rally.
All things considered, we're giving our MVP to Blanchfield. He had a quiet start to the season but is the only Hawk to model anything close to consistency over the latter half of the campaign.
He was the club's MVP last season and his overall numbers are only slightly down on that campaign despite his side winning less than half the amount of games, while lower field-goal percentages can also be put down to the greater number of 'bad' shots he's had to take in a frequently injury-depleted roster.
His 36 points on the road against Adelaide was a reminder of his scoring abilities and he was inevitably the common denominator in his side's best performances. Throw in the fact he captained a side through a tumultuous year, led the team in minutes, and was the only player to have started every game, he gets the gong.
Team Performance of the Year: Easy. The New Years' Eve win over Sydney in Wollongong wins this in a canter. A career-best performance from Emmett Naar - 16 points and eight assists - and Josh Boone's return to his best with 21 points and nine boards spurred the upset victory over the league's top dogs. Dan Grida's huuuuge block on Jae'sean Tate that turned the fourth-quarter momentum was the icing on the cake.
Individual Performance of the Year: Blanchfield's aforementioned 36 points on the road against Adelaide gets an honourable mention, as does Naar's against the Kings, but there's no going past Ball's triple-double against Cairns in Wollongong.
The fact it was penultimate game for the club is disappointing but it's unlikely the Hawks faithful will see a comparable individual performance - that included the clutch three to send the game overtime - for some time.
Standout Moment of the Year: It's not of the happy kind but the Hawks entire campaign really spun on the split-second that Aaron Brooks' achilles gave way in the Hawks first home clash with Perth in December.
Brooks showed all the class you'd expect from a player boasting his NBA credentials, and looked like he'd be well in the hunt to lead the league in scoring before suffering the injury.
More than just the scoring though, the Hawks lost his hard edge. Watching him throw his 73-kilo frame at a runaway Cam Oliver to deny him a transition slam - and ensure he'd shoot two from the line - remains one of the other stand-out moments of the year for this columnist.
Coach Matt Flinn also lost his most valuable sounding board. It remains a case of what could've been. It would not have been a title run, or perhaps not even a playoffs berth, but there's no doubt the Hawks season would've been a lot better with Brooks along for the full ride.
Breakout performance of the year: In a season in which Flinn so frequently put his focus on the young group - we saw every single presser - there were a few. Dech had his share, as did Sam Froling - his effort in almost stealing a win over South East Melbourne in Wollongong notable - but we've gone with Angus Glover's18 points and six boards against Brisbane in January
Gus seems to really enjoy playing the Bullets. He had 17 points and six rebounds in the Hawks other journey to Brisbane, one of a number of performances that showed his formidable all-round attributes.
One also can't overlook what the kid has overcome to get back on the floor through three knee reconstructions that would threaten any career. Let's hope that is well and truly behind him and the above listed performances become par for the course in the seasons to come.
HOOPLA'S shout: Some might call it the most coveted award of the lot - the player who earns a drink or 10 on us. This year it may have to be a mineral water because we've gone with Dech.
The fact he had a dog in the fight in virtually all of the above categories shows the type of season he had. It more than justified his decision to switch from his hometown of Perth to link with the Hawks.
His defensive abilities were well-known but he showed he can also be a force at the offensive end. More than that, he possesses a character that's seen Flinn tip him to be a future captain of the club.
He'll need to stick around to do that and Hawks fans will certainly be hoping that he does. More than any other quality, Hawks fans embrace players who bring hustle and toughness. Dech possesses both in spades.
Let's hope the club gets future negotiations right to ensure we never see him in any other colours in the NBL.
Special mention: The Hawks faithful. We've said before and said it often, Illawarra boasts some of the best fans in Australian sport. They're small in number but huge in passion and commitment.
They're a smart bunch as well. The fact the biggest cheers were reserved for the youngsters that may be here for more than a season or two says a lot about their values as a fanbase.
The fact that they pretty much packed the WEC for their side's last home game of the season - despite their side going in 5-20 - says even more.