In many ways, the Atlanta Hawks are the Mavericks of the Eastern Conference — with the obvious difference being that the Hawks are headed to the playoffs and the Mavericks aren’t, in all likelihood. Like the Mavericks, most of the Atlanta roster is composed of players on the final year of their contracts. Of the Hawks’ 15 players, 10 have deals that expire this season. The Mavericks have nine players who can be done with their contracts next month. Clearly, having a bunch of players who are unsure of their future doesn’t translate into automatic problems. “The guys they’ve assembled, it’s clear they’ve embraced the situation and collectively made the decision to make the best of it, regardless of their contract situations,” coach Rick Carlisle said of the Hawks. “We’re in a similar situation, but it’s been tougher for us. There are different reasons for it, but we’re not going to make any excuses. “It’s important to praise a team like Atlanta that’s done great with it. It’s a great example for the rest of the league. For us, we’re a few games under .500, but we feel like we have plenty to fight for and that’s what we’re going to keep doing.”