South East Melbourne coach Simon Mitchell is ignoring the predictions of the so-called experts ahead of the NBL semi-final series against title favourites Melbourne United, starting in Sydney on Friday night.
The Phoenix only just scraped into fourth spot on the back of their 19-17 record, edging out the Sydney Kings on percentage.
They will now front up against the table-topping Melbourne United, who were the dominant force all season on the way to compiling a 28-8 record.
Bookmakers, the media, and fans have written off the Phoenix's chances of coming up trumps in the best-of-three semi-finals series, but Mitchell isn't paying any attention.
"It's irrelevant to us. What pundits and the media say - they're not very knowledgeable at the best of times," Mitchell said.
"We have a belief in this group. Melbourne are an excellent team, they have great depth. They've got really high-end, blue-chip guys.
"But there's only one ball, and it can only be in one player's hands at a time. We just have to make sure each individual on our team does the job."
The Phoenix beat United in two of the five clashes this season, including the most recent last month when they came up trumps 94-83.
Victoria's COVID-19 situation means the series has been shifted to Sydney, where the games will be played behind closed doors at Qudos Bank Arena.
Phoenix forward Ryan Broekhoff said it was up to the team to generate their own buzz during the games, and he's confident an upset is brewing.
"The Melbourne rivalry is a game you try to get up for, and now it's taken to new level with finals upon us," Broekhoff said.
"It's going to be a tough game, but we're confident in our abilities and in our team to do something pretty special."
The Phoenix have done well to crack through for a maiden finals berth in just their second season, but Mitchell isn't satisfied just yet.
"Right now, I don't really feel like patting the guys or ourselves on the back too much. We've still got a job at hand," he said.
"We've always held ourselves to pretty high standards. From the get-go when Mitch (Creek) was the only player, we kind of eye-balled each other and said, 'hey, we're not going to be one of those five-year projects, we want to be competitive from the get-go'.
"We're probably a year ahead of where a lot of pundits had us, but we haven't listened to people on the outside from the get-go. We've done it our way."