Wins don't come more thrilling than what the Hawks produced on Thursday night, but coach Jacob Jackomas admits it will be yet another false dawn if his side can't back the effort up against Melbourne United on Sunday.
The Hawks were a Tyler Harvey buzzer-beater away from sinking to a fourth loss in a row to Cairns on Thursday, the skipper's heroics saving his team the ignominy of a 1-5 start to the season.
It was a much-needed boost, but Illawarra can fall quickly back into a hole with United on the road and Sydney in Wollongong looming over the next seven days.
It's a habit the Hawks have developed over the last season and a half, the club yet to notch consecutive wins under Jackomas. It reared its head with ugly blowout loss to Tasmania in round three five days after notching their first win against the Phoenix.
Managing it for the first time of Jackomas' tenure will a tall order against the 6-1 league leaders, but the second-year coach said he's simply focused on stringing performances together.
"That has been our biggest challenge in my time here in regard to backing it up two games in a row," Jackomas said.
"We need to put two games together here right now and lose this tag of just being grateful for winning every once in a while. I'm really happy for the guys, I'm really happy for the fans, but I just want it to be [a mentality of] we're a good basketball team, we should be winning basketball games.
"I think that there's a little bit pressure created from [within] the group, maybe created from myself, created from the fans, just because of what happened last year.
"It is a bit of a relief, but we need to move on to being a basketball team now, not the team that's relieved to win. Hopefully we can get whatever this thing is off our back and start winning games."
Having conceded 99 points a game - the worst in the league - heading into the clash, keeping the Taipans to just 83 points was a telling factor in the much-needed win.
While they still required Harvey's get-out-of-jail card, Jackomas feels that the penny has started to drop for his offensive-minded side at the other end of the floor.
"Keeping them to 83 after the defensive smoking we've been getting is a good sign," Jackomas said.
"There were some lapses and we needed something pretty special at the end of the game to win, but you can see there's a buy in on what we're trying to do [defensively].
"We've got a lot of guys right now really trying to give themselves up for the team. When we do have guys with offensive mindsets, they're elite scorers so they usually, on their team, take the most shots.
"Now we're trying to get the best shot. I think that's what the delay is because guys are trying to change their personalities so much, offensively and defensively.
"I know people thought I was a little bit crazy, but I always thought we were trending the right way. It's not going to work all the time, but we're trending in the right way."
The win lifted the Hawks off the bottom of the ladder at 2-4, but they're facing a monster challenge in the Melbourne-Sydney double, the latter at home next Friday.
"We're lucky enough to be playing a team that we played before (United) and that we felt we didn't play great against," Jackomas said.
"We're playing probably the most in-form team in the league at their house. We've got to take it seriously, like we took this week seriously, we were desperate.
"Now we've got Melbourne and Sydney, it's going to be a real challenge for us to see where we're at, but with what's going on [in the league] everyone's beating everyone right now. Anything is possible in this league."
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