Quick, who is the most underappreciated superstar in NBA history? In many cases the top answer comes up as Tim Duncan. Four-time champion, three-time Finals MVP, two-time league MVP, yet his quiet demeanor and fundamental style of play is a loud whisper when listing the greatest to ever play. So what would Tim Duncan's signature game be? June 4, 2003, the single most underrated Finals performance of all time, hands down.
Relatively few viewers saw it because of the Spurs-Nets pairing, and because of the general consensus that the East was something of a minor league. But Duncan was unbelievable.
Despite going up against two top-notch defensive players in Kenyon Martin and Dikembe Mutombo, and despite lacking a superstar teammate to deflect attention (Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili were just getting their feet wet, while David Robinson was on his way out), Duncan completely dominated. He ripped off 32 points, 20 rebounds, seven blocks, six assists and three steals. He even shot 10-for-14 from the free throw line and he had only one turnover.
Duncan broke open a tie game at the half by scoring 24 of his 32 points after the break, and was only two steals away from the only "five by five" in Finals history.