The Denver Nuggets took down the Miami Heat in Thursday's Game 1 of the NBA Finals, winning 104-93. Nuggets star Nikola Jokic silenced the doubters with an insane performance, matching a LeBron James Finals record in key stat categories.

Afterward, Jokic received praise from an unexpected source: Shaquille O'Neal, one of the most dominant big men in NBA history.

O'Neal broke down Jokic's performance in a post-game segment that included heaps of praise. He called the Serbian center “super impressive as a big man” among other superlatives.

O'Neal is often lost in the shuffle among the NBA's all-time greats, but the former Laker and global icon has four NBA titles to his name.

Meanwhile, the Nuggets' big man put up 27 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds while fending off a ferocious adversary in Heat center Bam Adebayo.

“You are now a member of the big man alliance,” O'Neal added in a postgame interview.

A frustrated Adebayo answered questions before snapping at the gathered media, saying “that's it, I'll leave” before continuing to describe the frustrating loss. The Heat big man played at a high level, but Jokic and the Nuggets were simply too much for an outmatched Miami team.

Jokic admitted that he patterned his game after the former Louisiana State University, Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers superstar O'Neal.

With Game 1 in the books, the series will continue on Sunday night at Ball Arena in Denver at 8 p.m. ET. The Nuggets should be favored yet again in anticipation of another historic performance from ‘The Joker' and his Mile High running mates.