DeMarre Carroll and Cory Joseph were spotted at a Cleveland-area casino around 2 a.m. the night before Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday, but Raptors head coach Dwane Casey said that isn’t why his team lost, 116-78.
Mark Price, a four-time NBA All-Star who is now the head coach of the Charlotte 49ers, might not be as understanding as Casey was.
“Well, obviously you’d be disappointed,” Price said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “You’d hope your guys were making their priority being getting as much rest and being ready to play. But on the other hand, these guys are grown men. Every guy does things differently. In some ways, I think it’s kind of trying to make a big story out of something that’s probably not so big.”
Carroll and Joseph were virtually invisible in Game 5, combining for eight points on 3-of-12 shooting from the floor, including 0-of-5 from three-pint range. Then again, all of the Raptors were pretty much invisible in Game 5.
Toronto, which lost by 38 points, has struggled mightily in Cleveland this series, losing all three games by an average of 29.3 points.
Would Carroll and Joseph being asleep at a decent hour have changed any of that? Probably not.
“In the pros, it’s a little different,” Price said. “In college, I can kind of make guys come in at a certain time and treat them like college guys. But when you’re on the pro level and you’re dealing with grown men, sometimes all you can do is hope that guys are going to do the right things, but you can’t really control that.”
Price, 52, was never one to be out late the night before a game, especially a playoff game.
“I was always a guy that kind of needed my rest,” he said. “I always made sure I was in at a decent hour and got enough sleep. That was the first priority because I logged a lot of minutes and knew I’d be playing a lot. That was always a real priority for me. I don’t think I had one kind of certain routine. I wasn’t a superstitious kind of guy. But making sure I was getting enough rest was definitely one of the biggest priorities for me.”