Sydney Kings have a simple approach to avoiding an NBL finals boilover: don't think about it.
The Kings, eyeing their first championship in 15 years, made history by becoming the first team to top the NBL table for the entire regular season - winning a franchise-record 20 of 28 games.
It means the pressure is on Sydney leading into their semi-final series against Melbourne United, which tips off on February 29.
"You don't think about that, you just go out there and play," Kings point guard Casper Ware told AAP.
"Just go play basketball. We've been playing it the whole season and nothing's changed.
"If you played the right way the whole season, finals shouldn't be any different.
"We're going to go out there and do the same thing we did this season and we're going to give it all we got.
"That's the biggest thing we got implanted in us; just go out there and play hard, everything will take care of itself."
Star centre Andrew Bogut, nursing a back issue, has been managed throughout the latter part of the season but Ware backed the 35-year-old to play his role.
"I think he's going to be ready to rock. He's going to give it his all," Ware said.
"I don't think he's going to shorthand the fans or us. If he can play, he's going to play, don't worry about that.
"There's a legit reason why he's out and he's going to be ready for finals.
"If not, OK, we're ready to go without him.
"But he's ready to rock and roll.
"I think he's going to be ready and make some noise, trust me."
Perth Wildcats - who won three of four regular-season clashes with the Kings - issued their own warning to the competition before they face Cairns Taipans in their semi-final series commencing on February 28.
"Nothing's been taken away from us yet and any team can be beat," Perth's newly-crowned league MVP Bryce Cotton told AAP.
"But we're the defending champs and we're going to do everything we can to try to keep our throne, no matter who the opponent is."
Cairns and Melbourne, who finished third and fourth respectively, will be up against it, given the top two seeds have qualified for the grand final the past two seasons.
"When we play our best, we are up there with the best teams, we can beat the best teams," United captain Chris Goulding told AAP.
The Taipans missed the finals the past two years but have been rejuvenated by star import Scott Machado.
The MVP runner-up was confident the underdogs - who beat Perth twice in three attempts in the regular season - could make an impact at the pointy end of the season.
"Last year and most of the years, Cairns are supposed to lose," Machado told AAP.
"And we're here (in finals) and obviously we're trying to change history."