Perth Lynx coach Andy Stewart admits his players have been rocked by their three successive thrashings and need to spend the week analysing what they can do to help the team.
The Lynx have lost to Dandenong, Townsville and Canberra by a combined 77 points during their past three games and fallen from the top of the ladder.
Perth’s scoring accuracy has dropped, turnovers have risen, they’ve been thrashed in rebounds and the opposition’s scoring rate has skyrocketed.
Stewart said the players were stunned by the results.
“There is a level of doubt,” he said.
“We have to deal with that and bring back that total belief we had. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we doubt it, then we’ll play with less energy which will mean we get what we doubted.
“Do we look like we’ve lost our way? Yes. But that doesn’t mean they’ve lost their skills. They were there two weeks ago.
“It’s basically a case of having the belief that we have the skill-set and game plan, but we need to execute it a lot better.”
Stewart refused to blame the fixture list for the losses but conceded it may have had an impact.
The Lynx travelled more than 15,000km and had eight flights during the thumping losses. In contrast, Dandenong and Townsville were fresh after playing at home the previous weekend.
“A couple of teams have had a brilliant opportunity to sit at home for a week, just prepare for us and scout us like crazy,” Stewart said.
“But everybody gets that at some point. It’s just reality. I believe they’ve done a good job of taking us out of our stuff.”
The Lynx are back at home on Sunday and their opponents, Sydney, will have played in Adelaide on Friday night. Stewart said the team should take heart from its third quarter against Canberra. Perth forced seven turnovers and restricted the Capitals to only 10 points.
But the Lynx shot at only 33 per cent for the quarter and didn’t make them pay.
“The third-quarter defence was the best defence we’d played all year,” Stewart said.
“But our offence was still spluttering, so we didn’t punish them.
“There’s a number of fires that we need to put out.
“It becomes very difficult come game time when your offence is spluttering and your defence is spluttering and your possession count is going through the floor because you’re handing the ball back to them.”