Top 10 NBA Finals performances of All-Time
Being a part of the NBA Finals is the ultimate destination and dream for every player who steps onto the hardwood for the first time. It is where legacies are made and the players get to showcase their talent at the highest possible level.
The Finals see the best of the best from each conference play against each other. But even amongst the best, there are some players who stand out amongst that crowd. The greatest players of all-time have the ability to ramp up their level of play when it matters the most.
Some of the greatest individual performance of all-time have come through the course of a 7 game series in the NBA Finals. From triple-doubles to single-quarter explosions, there have been a plethora of great performances in NBA Finals history. In this article, we attempt to rank the best individual performances amongst all of them.
Since there are so many performances to choose from, we have ranked them based on the situation of the game and the impact that the player's performance had on the eventual outcome of that match.
10. Tim Duncan flirts with a quadruple-double
It is because of performances like this that Tim Duncan is arguably one of the greatest players of his era. He is considered the best power forward to have ever touched the hardwood floor not because he was a great scorer, but because he was a hard working beast under the rim that grabbed rebounds, blocked shots and was a great passer for a big man.
When you think about total domination in a playoff game, you think of Duncan's Game 6 performance in the 2003 NBA Finals against the New Jersey Nets.
Squared up against two of the premier defensive centres in the league in Dikembe Mutombo and Jason Collins, Duncan ended the night with a stat line of 21 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists, and 8 blocks. He felt shot of 2 block shots of scoring a quadruple-double, coming as close as anyone has ever come before or after him.
In the same series, Duncan had a similar a performance when he posted 32 points, 20 rebounds, 6 assists, 7 blocks, and 3 steals in game 1, barely missing a postseason five-by-five, a feat that has never been accomplished. The San Antonio Spurs ended up defeating the New Jersey Nets in 6 games and winning their third championship. Tim Duncan was named the Finals MVP.
Since the 2003 NBA Finals was the second-lowest rated NBA Finals of all-time, not many people remember it. But Duncan's sublime performance in this game and in this series is undoubtedly one of the best performances in NBA Finals history.