The Miami Heat are a game away from closing out the Brooklyn Nets but that isn’t simmering the boiling bad blood between the two teams. While not every public quote leads to a flame war, sometimes the jabs are subtle like when Joe Johnson accused LeBron James of flopping at the end of Game 4.
“I wasn’t necessarily trying to draw the foul on him but I thought he was aggressive,” Johnson said following the Heat’s 102-96 win that put the Nets in a 3-1 hole in the East Conference semifinals. “So I was just trying to use his aggressiveness against him. He flopped that last one.”
It’s very clear what Johnson is doing, as any player that indirectly criticizes the officials is begging for them to be on the watch for what they’re complaining about. Phil Jackson was a master at this and Johnson is trying to do the same to LeBron.
But being down 1-3 to the Heat, Johnson and the Nets will need more than a few flop calls on LeBron James to win this series.