New Zealand Breakers assistant coach Mody Maor's assessment that "it's different than the way you'd like to prepare" is probably selling the build-up to their NBL opener short.
Maor will coach the side against title fancies South East Melbourne Phoenix on Saturday with head coach Dan Shamir among nine members of the touring party, including some players, still recovering after testing positive to COVID-19.
Those who didn't test positive still spent extra time in quarantine to create a training disruption, while a pre-season game against the Illawarra Hawks was scrapped and talisman Tom Abercrombie is injured.
Last season they played their first 29 games in Australia - the Breakers finished second last - and know they could face a similar stay based on the latest border plans.
"It's different than the way you'd like to prepare," Maor, who will take the clipboard this weekend, said on Thursday.
"It's something that's forced upon us, the hand we're dealt and the hand we'll play.
"The feeling of deja vu is creeping in, but we've all learnt from our challenges and this group is a tough group and we think this time we have a better chance of overcoming them."
He said Shamir and the other infected players were recovering well.
"I care about Dan a lot and don't want to let him down," Maor said.
"I want him to feel he has the time and space to get better and come back and that the team is here to support him and he doesn't need to rush.
"So I want to do the best I can to help the team win, so he feels good."
Australian Associated Press