The Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat will face off for Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night and everyone will be looking to see who comes out on top.
These are two teams with many terrific players but they are both led by central figures.
For the Nuggets, that figure is Nikola Jokic.
For the Heat, it is Jimmy Butler.
When comparing these two, you can see they have been quite competitive in recent matchups.
According to StatMuse, Butler has averaged 22.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game against Jokic.
Meanwhile, Denver’s big man has averaged 19.4 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 6.4 assists when playing against Butler and the Heat.
In head-to-head matchups:
Jimmy — Jokic —
22.9 PPG 19.4 PPG
5.1 RPG 9.6 RPG
5.7 APG 6.4 APG
46/33/90% 53/46/84% pic.twitter.com/YOLVG7NPaY
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 31, 2023
These are clearly two dominant players for their respective teams who will surely have a huge impact on how well they do in the Finals.
So far this season, the Nuggets have outplayed the Heat and beaten them every time they have met.
While that might sound like bad news for the Heat, it is important to remember that this is a totally different team than it was in the regular season.
For much of the season, the Heat were struggling and didn’t look like a team that could make it far in the playoffs.
But since the postseason began, they have transformed.
There is a lot of speculation about how these teams – and their biggest stars – will perform in the championship.
They will need to rely on their fellow players a lot and will have to dig deep.
In just a few weeks, either Butler or Jokic will be heading home with their first championship ring.NEXT: Video Shows Jalen Green Putting In Serious Offseason Work