Is Tim Duncan Underrated?

Mark BrownCorrespondent IMarch 13, 2009

Amare Stoudemire. Kevin Garnett. Dirk Nowitzki. Carlos Boozer. There are so many talented power forwards in the league that it's easy to overlook Tim Duncan.

Duncan's stats have fallen off in the past few years, and he is beginning to fly under the radar.

Of course I know that everyone acknowledges what Duncan has accomplished in his past, every fan and their dog can tell you that.

In recent years, however, Duncan has seen a decline in his status as one of league's best players. He went from arguably the best to not even top 10 in the blink of an eye.

Ever since the 2005-06 season, where Duncan suffered from plantar fasciitis for a majority of the season, fans have begun to forget Tim Duncan. He averaged a career low in both rebounds and blocks that year, with 18.6 and 11.0 per game respectively.

Timmy has continued to post similar numbers, consistently recording 20 and 10 every night. His defense is still stellar, and his team play continues to amaze me. His leadership is unmatched, and he has developed one of the greatest work ethics I've ever seen.

Why, then, are fans now sleeping on him? Has society changed to the point where flashy dunks and drives are the only things we feel are worth paying attention to?

What about the perfect way Duncan sets a screen? Or his ruthless efficiency, night in and night out? Is that not worth taking note of?

Perhaps people are just getting sick of the Spurs in general. They've been a legitimate threat ever since Duncan was a rookie, winning four titles and coming close on several occasions. 

San Antonio still is in great shape, having added young guys like Roger Mason, Drew Gooden, and George Hill. With Manu Ginobli returning soon, their future looks bright.

As a Suns fan, I always hated it when Duncan would improbably lead his Spurs from an early deficit to win every playoff series San Antonio has encountered with the Suns in the Steve Nash era.

It was seriously annoying, but now that the Suns are practically dead and I can take a non biased look at the upcoming playoffs, I can really appreciate Duncan.

I'm not sure what it's going to take for Tim Duncan to take his name out there. He never does anything controversial, and his charity work is never discussed.

He's going to give you the same thing every game, but maybe we've gotten so used to it that we no longer realize how exceptional it is.

I guess San Antonio is just going to have to go out and win another title. It wouldn't surprise me, given the reasons listed above.

Duncan can will his team to victory single-handedly (remember Game 5 of the 1999 Finals?), so it would be very possible. Once that happens, Duncan may get his due.

It seems a bit weird to me to say that the greatest power forward in history is now underrated, but it is true.

He'll probably have to win a title to get his shine again, which is unfortunate. We really need to take notice of his game while we can. Consider this a wake-up call.

I'd be happy to hear what you think, just drop a comment.