The identity of their opponent was still to be confirmed when the Breakers began plotting exactly how they could collect a fifth Australian NBL title.

While on-court plans to defeat Perth had to wait for the Wildcats' semifinal victory over Illawarra on Friday night, the defending champions had already investigated what was required off the court to claim yet another championship.

They knew a trip to Western Australia was likely and they knew the three-game grand final series would be squeezed into five days, so the club contacted sports scientists to formulate the best strategy.

The information received means the Breakers are already in Perth for Wednesday's opener, their trip yesterday being the earliest they've left for any of their playoff battles with the Wildcats. They will also leave straight after Wednesday's game and travel overnight ahead of Friday's second game.


Neither side will be particularly keen to head back west for a decider on Sunday, putting a huge onus on game one at Perth Arena. Having dropped both of their visits to that venue earlier in the season, the Breakers will focus on foul shooting ahead of the competition showpiece.

The Kiwi club lost those games by a combined nine points despite rebounding well, often a harbinger of success when playing the Wildcats. They were undone in a facet that became something of a bugbear throughout the campaign, shooting 61 per cent from the free throw line in their first visit and 55 per cent on their second trip.

Ahead of what's shaping as a classically physical encounter against their old foes, coach Dean Vickerman knows his side must be better from the charity stripe, having finished last in the league in that statistic this season. The Breakers' big men do match up well with their opponents but that will count for little if they fail to make the most of their advantage from the line.

"I think our bigs have been really good against their bigs so far," Vickerman said. "We've won the rebound battle and our bigs have scored at a really high rate. If they can continue to do that and we make some free throws, that's been the difference against them. When we get them in foul trouble, we just have to make sure we convert."

Vickerman did express his hope the players would be allowed to bang bodies under the rim, praising a refereeing crew that had allowed physicality in recent weeks.

But, if the whistles do blow, no amount of off-court preparation will matter when the grand final glare is applied and a free throw must be made in a pivotal moment.

Grand Final schedule

Game 1

: Perth Arena, Wednesday

Game 2: NSEC, Friday

Game 3 (if necessary): Perth Arena, Sunday