The SKYCITY Breakers are not changing their formula, win or lose they tend not to get carried away by the highs and lows that a season can bring, and this week is the same, the only focus for the team is the away game in Illawarra this Friday night - even if the front office can be forgiven for looking ahead to Sundays mouthwatering home clash against Perth at Vector Arena.

There is however an obvious positive buzz around the team on the back of the two wins against Sydney and then the remarkable win in Brisbane, and much of it has to do with the renewed energy and execution from new point guard Kevin Dillard and his combinations with the rest of the roster.

While loathe to single out individuals, SKYCITY Breakers Head Coach Paul Henare can see the added dimension that Dillard and Carter have brought to the group, at just the right time and while he cant recall what was said to Dillard after his buzzer beater in Brisbane, it is just the job he has been brought in to do.

"That was pretty special, very emotional. We have been in some close games throughout this year and especially of late with the chopping and changing of the roster and where we have struggled at times is closing out games on the road. I remember having a conversation with Kevin before he arrived and told him we need him to come in and help us close out games and obviously, he did a good job of that in Brisbane."

Henare says the input of Dillard and Carter at such a late stage of the season has been pivotal to recent performances.

"They have probably exceeded my expectations, largely because of what the public dont see, the impact that these players have on our locker room and the group. They are two fantastic character guys, albeit both different. Paul is a brotherly sort of guy in amongst the group and Kevin has just brought that confidence to the group that everyone is feeding off. That has had a real impact on the group, but for me I am just happy about how they have come into the group with their individual goals and what they want to achieve but more importantly they have bought into what the group is trying to do."

Henare emphasized that while enjoying the result in Brisbane, the team is not dwelling on the recent wins, just as they do not dwell on the losses beyond the debrief and video sessions.

"You cant not be happy after a result like that, it was emotional and exciting and I am happy for the boys. They have been putting some great work in on the floor all season long and stuck together through everything so to see them get that result I was happy for them.

"We have to maintain this momentum though, we have targeted today as our sharp day, the day to get after things and hone our game plan for Illawarra. These last few weeks have been about the balance of getting the work on the floor but also looking after the mind and body. We are in the middle of a tough stretch right now, we have to make sure we do the work but be ready for game night."

Henare has in effect asked his players to go into the post-season a little earlier than usual, welcoming the pressure

"We have gone into playoff mode early, the process of winning these games one game at a time is what we do every day. We believed it was doable right from the start of this run, but we dont stop to relax and pat ourselves on the back, we recognize what we have achieved but move on to the next one. What will be will be, we just need to stay together, lock into the process and do our jobs.

"The last month or so we have been playing some good basketball, but at times we just havent got the wins or finished games strongly. You have to avoid getting too low in the tough times and equally you cant let yourself get too high on the back of the wins either."

The team are all eyes on the clash in Illawarra on Friday night, but the clubs front office is busy on a cracker of a home game on Sunday, with the visit of the Perth Wildcats in a Grand Final rematch, one that can decide the series between the two clubs (2-1 Breakers) but also have a huge impact on the makeup of the top four, just a few rounds out from the end of the regular season.

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Basketball New Zealand