The Illawarra Hawks had no answer to triple Olympian Matthew Dellavedova and his Melbourne United side in their opening NBL Blitz fixture on Monday night.
The 85-71 loss at the Gold Coast Convention Centre disappointed Jacob Jackomas but the Hawks coach wasn't disappointed with what his team was trying to achieve heading into the season proper.
Jackomas though said it was important his players started making the necessary adjustments to help them win, in their next Blitz game against the Brisbane Bullets on Wednesday night.
"The result is obviously disappointing but not so much what we're trying to do. We're trying to figure out who we need to play. We have to play everyone," he said.
"Sometimes we have to deal with mistakes we wouldn't deal with usually in the regular season to make sure everyone's got a fair chance leading into the season.
"Everyone keeps saying how deep we are but we actually need to figure out who is actually going to play and who isn't and sometimes with that, that's the result of it.
"But this is the only time we can do this. We've got a plan going into the season but we've got to live through some mistakes, we've got to let the guys be comfortable that, that it's not a normal regular season game where one mistake they get yanked out.
"So, they can show us what they've really got. And then, as it gets closer to game one, we'll tighten some stuff up."
It wasn't all bad for Illawarra on Monday night, especially their second half where they outscored United 37-29.
Though Melbourne took control in the first half on the back of Dellavedova, who has come into NBL24 with a 'chip on his shoulder' after he was stung by his non-selection to play for the Australian Boomers at the recent FIBA World Cup.
Two days after banking 28-points in Melbourne's win over the Brisbane Bullets, Dellavedova scorched the Hawks for 17 points in the first quarter including making his first five shots of the game, with three of those coming from behind the three-point line.
He was instrumental in Melbourne leading 28-13 by quarter-time and despite Illawarra managing a 12-0 scoring run with Next Star AJ Johnson central to that in the second period, United remained in control 56-34 going into half-time.
Dellavedova might have only scored three more points after quarter-time and none in the second half, but the damage was done as he finished with 20 points, five rebounds, three assists and a block in 22 minutes.
Mason Peatling top-scored for Illawarra against the team he played the first 87 games of his NBL career with, contributing 13 points and two rebounds.
Tyler Harvey added 11 points and four assists for the Hawks, while Wani Swaka Lo Buluk had 10 points and four boards.
Jackomas was also pleased with new recruits Lachlan Olbrich (six points, three rebounds and two assists) and Biwali Bayles (four points, two rebounds and three assists).
Though the coach wasn't happy his chargers didn't play with a chip on their shoulder like Dellavedova did.
"He showed up with a chip on his shoulder but why didn't we? We won [only] three games last year," Jackomas said.
"I respect the fact that he's got a chip on his shoulder that he missed the Olympics, but none of us had anything to do with that.
"I love his competitiveness. I love everything about him. But, we're in a Blitz and we won three games. I think we should have had a bit of a bigger chip on our shoulder as well.
"We can't dwell on that now though, we need to look forward.
"We played one of the better talented teams in the league in Melbourne United. Now we get ready to play another very experienced team in the Brisbane Bullets.
"I think we need some more bodies to jump on board to help us climb back and make sure we limit our patchy basketball and stay a little bit more consistent."
Our news app has had a makeover, making it faster and giving you access to even more great content.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.