Trailing 2-0 in the NBL22 Grand Final series, the end feels near for the Tasmania JackJumpers as they head on the road back to Sydney.
From the outside, that is.
Faced with the daunting prospect of requiring three straight wins over the Kings to win the title, star guard Josh Adams isn't interested in buying into the narrative that his squad is feeling added pressure ahead of Wednesday night's Game 3.
"The newspapers and the experts have been waiting to write our obituary and write about the fairy tale ending for months and months now," Adams told ESPN from Hobart airport.
"We just keep fighting, we just keep believing in ourselves and having confidence knowing that we're in the position we're in because we earned it, not because of some fairy tale. We earned it. We've been playing in must win games for a while now, so we'll go out with the same mentality and regardless of where we end up, we know we deserve to be in this game."
After a tough Game 1, Adams lit up the Kings in Game 2, pouring in 36 points on 22 shots, including a series of trademark tough buckets in the fourth period.
"I got to the free-throw line more and got some calls finally which helps," he said.
Adams attempted 10 free-throws in Game 2, after just four in Game 1. On a team lacking individual shot creation, Adams has drawn significant attention from the opposition all season, though he remains satisfied with the looks he is getting against the Sydney coverage.
"I was comfortable playing in MyState Bank Arena, but I got all the shots I wanted in both of the games, they just fell at home. I have to carry the momentum into the next game. If not, we all just have to pick up the slack and make this a really hard game for Sydney."
"I have to invest time and energy into these other guys on the team that allow me and provide me the opportunities to play that way. I'm just focused on the next game. It's a series so we have to move on whether it was a good performance or a bad performance."
A fan favourite in Tasmania, Adams visibly rides the emotional rollercoaster, which by his own admission continues to be a work in progress.
"It's a growing space. It's something you have to learn on the go. The emotions and intensity are what makes me a great player, but I need to make sure that it's appropriate for the guys on this team and it doesn't adversely affect us.
"The guys on the team have been incredible with that, supporting me and telling me to keep the intensity but also reeling me in when I get a little too fiery. I give all the credit to the guys on this team for helping me with that. It's the first time I've played with this kind of emotion in a long time so I'm happy to have this back."
On Sunday, Adams was electric, though there have been other occasions where that fiery nature has worked against him.
"We've had many conversations about this with Josh," head coach Scott Roth told ESPN prior to the series. "To be honest, I don't say very much to him, especially on game days because he does live on the edge in that way. I think sometimes he might get in his way too often and I think he can be even better than he is.
"He has to navigate that. We all have demons that we have to fight and his is being a ferocious competitor. He can get sideways a little bit here and there, but he seems to calm himself down after he takes a deep breath."
In Game 3, the JackJumpers will need the very best of Adams once again, with the reward one more home game in front of adoring fans at home.
"I've played in six different countries with rich basketball tradition. For a team in the first year in the league to have this kind of energy it's been spectacular to see. As an excitement player I try to feed off of that."
But first, he will seek to delay those planned NBL22 obituaries for at least a few more nights with another big win on the road.
"I've proved people wrong my whole life so it's pretty special I'm on a team that gets to prove everybody wrong for an entire season. We're not focused on their fans though which is why I think we've been so good on the road.
"We focus on the guys in the huddle with us, the guys in the locker room with us. That's what got us this far so win or lose that's what is going to carry us."