There has been a running joke about Jimmy Butler being the son of the great Michael Jordan. Well, in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, it was Nikola Jokic who entered MJ territory after his majestic NBA Finals debut. Jokic had another dominant performance in the series opener as he led the Denver Nuggets to a 104-93 victory over the Miami Heat.
It was in 1991 that Michael Jordan had his NBA Finals debut for the Chicago Bulls. The GOAT went off for 36 points and 12 assists to lead his team in both categories. On Thursday night, Jokic dropped 27 points and 14 dimes, thereby also leading his team in both scoring and assists. Thanks to his epic Game 1 performance, Jokic has now entered Michael Jordan territory:
Players that led both teams outright in points and assists in their NBA Finals debut in NBA history 😳
2023 — Nikola Jokic (Nuggets)
27 points | 14 assists
1991 — Michael Jordan (Bulls)
36 points | 12 rebounds
Pretty nice list to be on for Joker!
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) June 2, 2023
Oh, and Nikola Jokic also amassed double-digit rebounds in Game 1 en route to a 27-point, 10-rebound, 14-assist triple-double, with a steal, a block, and one triple in 42 minutes of action. The Nuggets superstar also shot 66.7 percent from the floor in this one on just 12 attempts — a clear testament to how significantly Jokic can influence the game without taking too many shots.
More importantly, however, Jokic successfully led the Nuggets to a huge Game 1 victory against a determined Heat side. This is the first time Miami has lost a Game 1 in what has been an incredible NBA Playoffs run for Jimmy Butler and Co., and Denver will now be looking to deal them another loss on Sunday in Game 2. If Jokic keeps on playing like this, Miami will have a hard time keeping up with the Nuggets.