Nick Kay has described his All-NBL First Team selection as a nice reward for all the hard work over the off-season and during the season, but in some ways his hard work is just beginning.
Kay and his table-topping Perth Wildcats side host the Brisbane Bullets on Thursday night in the first game of the three-game semi-final series.
In career-best form, the Tamworth product's game has flourished since making the move west.
He has scored 11 double-doubles, and ranks in the top three among the big men for points, rebounds and assists, with an average of 15.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game, and a 56.9 field shooting percentage.
"I have made some good jumps forward this year," the 26-year old said.
"(But) I still see there is a lot room for improvement and I want to try and be more consistent with that.
"I'm excited for continuing to get better with it, and hopefully I can keep it up for finals series."
Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson has consistently extolled the power forward's consistency and his team-first mentality. The praise is mutual, with Kay attributing much of his success this season to the mentor.
"It's about putting yourself in the right situation. Trevor Gleeson's system has had a lot of success, it's a system that suits me," he said.
"It's a big reason why I've had a little bit of success personally this year."
He also paid credit to his team-mates for their role in his selection in the All-Star five, which he said was a goal.
"Obviously the more team success you have, the more individual accolades come with that," he said.
"Credit to the guys for being so consistent and putting us on top."
After winning six of their last eight games, Kay feels Perth will take a lot of momentum into the finals.
"It'll be good to get a few guys back and hopefully we all fire," he said.
It will be his second finals campaign after playing with the Illawarra Hawks in the 2016-2017 series.
"We were in a different position, we were the fourth seeds last time," he said.
"This time you wouldn’t want to be in any better position.
"Perth has had such success and a culture … it is expected to win."
After finishing wooden spooners the last two seasons, the Bullets have been the fairytale story and will pose a lot of challenges.
"Brisbane have been a very structured team with how they go about their business, and they've got a lot of firepower from outside," Kay said.
"We've got to be able to sustain the waves of attack they've got through the three-point line. It's tough to guard a team that shoots so well from there."