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Tim Frazier Shines In NBA Debut With Sixers

by on February 07, 2015 10:10 AM

Just some 72 hours ago, Tim Frazier was preparing for the NBA D-League All-Star game.

Then he got the call.

The Sixers had signed him to a 10-day contract, he was quite literally shipping up to Boston to play the Celtics.

And just a day later, he was setting marks that had been left untouched in the NBA for 30 years.

That's the kind of career it has been for Frazier, the forever underdog at Penn State overcoming injury and the fear he may never play basketball again. It's significant that he was able to return to the court from an achilles injury -- not only to play Big Ten basketball at a high level, but to eventually find his way to an NBA game and log meaningful minutes.

No matter how Frazier's professional career pans out, it has already been a success.

Frazier's performance was everything fans had come to expect of him. It was highlighted by 11 assists, to go with 5 rebounds, 5 points and 2 steals. It was a prototypical Tim Frazier outing.

Frazier became the only player in the past 30 years to come off the bench and dish out double-digit assists in his NBA debut. He also joined an elite group of Damian Lillard, Jason Kidd and Carter-Williams as the only players in the last 30 years to dish out 11 or more assists in their NBA debut. In fact, Frazier was 4 assists shy of setting a new NBA record in that department.

Not a bad night's work.

Frazier's first point of his NBA career came uneventfully at the free throw line, but his first basket from the run of play was vintage Frazier: an end-to-end steal and split of defenders for a finish at the rim. If there had been any nerves in the early going, that moment was sign enough he had found himself again. Tim Frazier didn't survive his first night in the NBA, he thrived.

All in all it looks like Frazier will get his shot again on Saturday against the Charlotte Bobcats in Philadelphia. Starting point guard Michael Carter-Williams is nursing an injury the Sixers may just let heal in its own time, and after Frazier's performance on Friday there is little doubt he is capable of finding the open man.

For as good of a story as it is, this could come to an end this Monday after the Sixers face the Golden State Warriors. Frazier's 10-day contract will run out that night heading into the All-Star break. From there Frazier could find himself back in the D-League awaiting his next call up.

Or maybe, in a not so impossible future, the Sixers opt to hang on to their new found point guard for the rest of the season. Frazier may no longer be the primary option at that point in time, but getting minutes on an NBA roster is nothing to laugh at.

Just a few short years ago, Tim Frazier would have taken this chance in a heartbeat. And last night, he made the most of it.

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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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