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Struggling Breakers weigh up changes

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/12/2016

<span style="font-size:13px;">The NZ Breakers slump to a third-successive NBL loss, leaving coach Paul Henare scratching his head as he contemplates a quick turnaround in Melbourne.</span> © Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images The NZ Breakers slump to a third-successive NBL loss, leaving coach Paul Henare scratching his head as he contemplates a quick turnaround in Melbourne. Frustrated NZ Breakers coach Paul Henare is mulling personnel and tactical changes for their trip to Melbourne after crashing to a third successive NBL defeat.

The 95-91 home loss to the third-placed Illawarra Hawks (7-6) continued the slow-starting trend that has left Henare desperate for a solution before facing Melbourne United (5-7) on Sunday.

The Breakers (6-7) remain fifth in a congested table but could conceivably drop to last place if their high turnover rate and sluggish starts can't be fixed.

They will have the services of key scorer Corey Webster, who was suspended from Friday's game following his alleged involvement in a midweek assault.

However, the Tall Blacks guard's mind could be elsewhere as he faces a court appearance in Auckland the following day.

Henare says the current problems go deeper than one player, with a mindset issue clearly the reason for conceding more than 50 points in the first half for each of their last three losses.

"We're digging ourselves a hole and then it's 'now we come out and play'," he said.

"We can't continue to do that, so as a coach I've got to look to possibly make some changes, or at least some changes in what we're doing systematically.

"It's the shining elephant in the room."

Henare's men charged home in the final quarter, winning it 28-17, but left themselves too much ground to make up.

Point guard David Stockton nailed six three-pointers on his way to a game-high 24 points and 10 assists.

However, Henare pointed out the American was as guilty as anyone for a high turnover rate which has plagued them for much of a topsy-turvy campaign.

Bench centre Rob Loe contributed 21 points but some of the team's more seasoned players such as Tom Abercrombie and Kirk Penney struggled to find their range.

Henare won't be too critical of his players en route to Melbourne, with that approach seemingly not the way to improve.

"When you drop three games on a row, if you keep on cracking the whip and doing the same thing, I don't know if you're going to get the best result," he said.

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