After the Golden State Warriors were uncharacteristically blown out by the league-leading Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, head coach Steve Kerr admitted it can be tough for his team – which is overwhelmingly favored to complete a three-peat and on one of the greatest runs in league history – to bring its best every night.
"We're now in a place where we're defending a title and defending sort of a mantle that we've had for several years, and it's a different vibe," said Kerr, according to ESPN's Nick Friedell. "It's a different feeling than when you're on the climb like Toronto is, like Milwaukee is, like we were a few years ago.
"It's harder to get up for each game, and so there are certain nights where you can just feel it, you don't have that energy, and if you played in the NBA, you've coached in this league, you understand it. If you've followed it closely, you understand that. It's not an excuse, it's just reality. So we did not bring the required energy."
The Raptors thrashed the Warriors on their home floor without the services of Kawhi Leonard, beating them 113-93 to complete a season sweep. Golden State went 6-of-26 from downtown, with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson making just two 3-pointers combined.