Jeff Schultz

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Short takes: Hawks seem to have lost their cool, shooting touch

Short takes on the Hawks' 120-115 overtime loss to the Brooklyn, which evened the best-of-seven series at 2-2.

1. It's everything: The Hawks mostly blamed their lack of pace and poor shooting for losing game three to Brooklyn. But everything abandoned them at some point in game four. Their defense fell apart in the fourth quarter when the suddenly alive Deron Williams scored 16 of his 35 points (and the Nets had 30 in quarter). The Hawks' shooting touch abandoned them in the second half, when they blew a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter and Kyle Korver missed three consecutive three-point attempts in overtime. They also committed 18 turnovers, leading to 26 Brooklyn points. This is not your 60-win team.

2. But the Hawks' biggest problem: Failing to protect a lead. The Hawks won so many games during the regular season in part because they knew how to protect with a lead by playing smart, taking care of the ball and not taking bad shots. But that intelligence and sense of cool wasn't present this game. The Hawks held a 12-point lead in the third quarter and led after the period 82-74. The third-quarter leader had won every game this series. But the Hawks rushed some shots, missed open looks and had four turnovers in the fourth quarter. Defensively, it also looked like they missed Thabo Sefolosha in this game.

3. On Korver: He said he rushed some shots Monday but otherwise felt much better than he did in Saturday's loss. Maybe. But it didn't look like it. The Hawks' three-point ace hit 4-of-13 from outside the arc and the team overall was 13-for-33 (39.4 percent), compared to Brooklyn's 45.2 percent (14 for 31).

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About the Author

Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.