Dean Vickerman agrees it's panic time at Melbourne United ahead of a crunch NBL showdown with Sydney Kings after another jumbled display in Auckland.
The 90-68 loss to New Zealand Breakers in Auckland on Sunday was the worst performance of Melbourne's current lean patch.
They've registered four losses and a solitary win over the lowly Illawarra Hawks in their last five games, leaving Vickerman's men barely clinging to fourth spot with Brisbane, Adelaide and the Breakers all scrapping for the last available play-off berth.
The coach was unequivocal when asked if their blunt offensive performance at Spark Arena meant it was time to press the "panic button".
"Absolutely, we're not playing good basketball," he said.
"We've got six games to go now and we've got to make a change.
"We've been deflated too quickly. Showing greater resolve when things aren't perfect is something we all have to be better at."
Star centre Shawn Long, who top-scored with 18 points against his former club, described United's offence as "robotic".
He said they'd pay another heavy price if they can't be more dynamic away to the league-leading Kings on Australia Day.
"It's going to be a rough one, it's going to tell us a lot about ourselves, this next game," he said.
Guards Chris Goulding and Melo Trimble landed just seven of a combined 20 shots from the field.
More worryingly, starting pair Mitch McCarron and David Barlow tallied a mere three points between them despite clocking 57 combined minutes.
"Mitch and Barlow are often a product of how well we're executing offence," Vickerman said.
"If Shawn and Melo and Chris have created good advantages, they're normally the recipients of open shots to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
"We looked like we lacked a purpose on a lot of possessions. It's something we need to fix quickly."
Australian Associated Press