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Report: Raptors players spotted at casino at 2 a.m before Game 5 loss

cory-joseph-demarre-carroll

DeMarre Carroll and Cory Joseph were spotted at a casino near Quicken Loans Arena in the early morning hours before the Toronto Raptors suffered a humiliating 116-78 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, according to a report from the Toronto Sun.

The two Raptors players reportedly were seen with a large group walking through the Jack Casino in downtown Cleveland at about 2:00 a.m. Their purported late-night outing followed a team dinner on Tuesday night, after which some members of the team stayed together to watch Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors.

Raptors head coach Dwane Casey attempted to downplay the significance of the outing, suggesting it wasn’t the reason why the team was humiliated on the court.

“I didn’t know that,” Casey said. “This has nothing to do with curfew.

“This isn’t why we lost … This is the NBA, they’re grown men. These are grown men. These things happen.”

While that may be true, the fact that two players would choose to stay out all hours of the night before the biggest game of their careers certainly does not cast Carroll and Joseph in a very flattering light. Then again, it doesn’t make them unprofessional, either.

The report also states that neither Casey nor the team would indicate if either player would be punished for their actions. Casey also pointed out the time of the game when discussing the players’ outing.

“It was an 8:30 game. That’s the good thing I guess,” said Casey.

In the end, it probably is much ado about nothing. Carroll and Joseph obviously had plenty of time to rest between their late-night casino visit and game time. Still, as noted in the Sun’s report, the optics of the entire incident simply aren’t good. But as Casey stated, the humiliating events that played out in Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday night had nothing to do with what did or didn’t happen in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

Carroll finished the game with 26 minutes played, scoring five points with two rebounds. Joseph registered just over 10 minutes on the court, mostly in garbage time, scoring three points.

Neither player was asked about the alleged outing for the Sun’s report due to deadline constraints.