The slow start and even second-half struggles may have not been alarming to usual observers, given their tendencies to be resilient and make comebacks—especially in this series and against this opponent—but to Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, the writing on the wall was clear from the outset.

“Right from the start of the game, I knew they were reacting to the ball quicker than we were, so I was concerned about that right from the beginning and it never changed,” Thibodeau said Monday night, after his team’s 110-91 Game 5 loss to the Nets at the Barclays Center. “Now, we worked our way back and put ourselves in a position [to win], but if you defend fairly well and you give a team a second and a third crack at it, it’s hard to win like that.”

It was an uncharacteristic performance from the Bulls, as they allowed Brooklyn to shoot 50 percent from the floor, have a 44-33 rebounding advantage and be the aggressor the entire evening.

“I think we went into the game lackadaisical and we didn’t throw the first punch. I feel like we came out really slow and that was a steady pace all game for us, on both ends of the floor,” Jimmy Butler observed. “I feel like we made a lot of mental mistakes. We didn’t get to all the loose balls, we didn’t rebound, we didn’t execute and on the defensive end, we just made mistakes that we normally don’t make because we got away from ourselves. It’s very correctable and we know what we have to do for the next game.