Breakers coach Paul Henare talks to player Kirk Penney.
Breakers coach Paul Henare talks to player Kirk Penney. TONY MCDONOUGH

Struggling Breakers 'too nice', says coach

BASKETBALL: New Zealand Breakers coach Paul Henare has told his players to get "nasty” as they attempt to get away from the foot of the NBL ladder.

The Breakers host the second-placed Brisbane Bullets in Auckland tonight and Henare said there was only one way to avoid a fifth straight defeat.

"We are too nice right now and I think we need to bring back a little bit of nasty,” he said.

"This group is experienced enough to know what that means and how far it goes.

"It is not about hating each other, it is about holding each other accountable for when we slip below our standards.”

The Breakers mentor insisted that when he talked about being nasty he was not talking about dirty tactics but just getting his team to play with a more physical edge, especially at the defensive end.

Tonight's game is the first of two for the Breakers this weekend, with the team travelling to take on the Adelaide 36ers on Saturday.

Henare said he would not rule out changes to his starting five and had spoken to some players this week to remind them of what they needed to produce on court.

"Sometimes that can be an uncomfortable conversation for some and some people can take it the wrong way, but the important thing is to send the right messages for the right reasons,” he said.

Brisbane has won its last three games on the road.

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