The Dallas Mavericks’ sports movie-like rise to become NBA Champions might have a long lasting effect on the NBA.
This post season watched NBA superpowers, the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, possibly reach the end of the dominance exhibited by their current rosters and an older, less star-filled Dallas roster took down the most star-filled team in the league.
The Atlanta Hawks are just one of the franchises inspired by the Mavericks’ surprising success. The Hawks are coming off a post season which saw them serve up their own surprises as they cruised by the Orlando Magic in the first round and gave the Chicago Bulls a scare by taking Game 1 on the road before eventually falling in the second round.
A solid playoff performance mixed with witnessing the Mavericks overcome the odds might be enough to have the Hawks asking a dangerous question. “Why not us?”
Hawks GM Rick Sund seems optimistic.
“It was a good season,” Sund said last Friday during a press conference. “Maybe even pushing very good because we went (the) deepest in the playoffs in 16 or 17 years. But it’s still disappointing because we felt we could get through the second round and we didn’t and that was our goal.”
Although there is no way of knowing what could have been, Sund is convinced that the Hawks would have had a shot at the title had they managed to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
“Once you get to that final four anything can happen,” Sund said. “This year really exemplifies that with Dallas.”
As always, Sund will look for ways to upgrade the roster but that may be a tough feat to accomplish by solely relying on the 48th pick in a weak draft class.
Assistant GM Dave Pendergraft said he thinks the team can find a difference maker with the 48th spot.
“I think we’ll be able to find an asset,” Pendergraft said. “This year I think there will be a player at 48 where if we have an injury to one of our core players, hopefully we will be able keep the team together and plug him in there and tread water.”
With the draft just a few days away, Pendergraft seems optimistic that the team will be able to find a player that can add to the team’s physicality and toughness.
“I don’t want to use the word excited about a late second round pick,” Pendergraft said. “But I’m confident that we will be able to find someone that will be an asset to the organization.”
Both Sund and Pendergraft were tight lipped about possibly trading up in the draft or any roster moves for that matter but Sund did say that a trade is possible.