Eastern coach Nathon Jones cannot hide his pride in the way the Mavericks have climbed the ladder to finish in the top three this season.
But ahead of a home qualifying final against North Adelaide he knows there is plenty of work to be done if Eastern is to be crowned Premier League champions.
“We’ve just aimed at consistent improvement,” Jones said.
“That’s been our motto all year that we want to improve at every training and game.”
After missing out on the minor premiership to Southern after losing to the Tigers in the final round a blockbuster clash with the Rockets looms for Eastern.
The sides split two contests during the minor round.
North won by 33 points in round four while the Mavericks prevailed by six points in the most recent meeting in the Hills.
“North has a lot of finals experience and regardless of the ladder I think we’ll go in as the underdogs,” Jones said.
“It’s going to come down to us having a good defensive game.
“They have a lot of firepower but what they were able to do to us the first time was change up their defence and we shot terribly.”
Jones has plenty of firepower at his disposal also.
Two-time WNBL Champion Alex Wilson has helped take Eastern to new heights in 2017, averaging 26.2 points and 11.1 rebounds per game.
Rockets’ coach Brenton Johnston says his team is being careful not to lose focus of the other threats on the Mavericks’ roster.
“As a group we’re looking forward to the challenge,” Johnston said.
“We need to be aware Wilson is there but that we are not too focused on her.
“When you focus on her she is so clever she drags her other teammates in and they start to score.”
Johnston said his team is firing at the right time of season and with a full group to choose from after missing some players to holidays during the regular season.
“Some people had us rated as not making finals this season so finishing third we’re satisfied with that,” he said.
Jo Hill has starred for the Rockets, leading the team with 14.9 points per game.
While Opal Mader is averaging 16 points per game in her last five appearances, including a team-high 19 in North’s final round loss to West Adelaide.
Hill and Norrisha Victrum have both played key playmaking roles in the Rockets’ run to the top three.