Vander Blue has had an up-and-down season with the Delaware 87ers. While he's shown the ability to knock down shots from the perimeter and heat up in a hurry, consistency has been his Achilles heel. He's had a pair of 30-point games in the last two months, proving his a knack for scoring, but they have been crippled by some rough shooting nights, most of which had led to losses for the 87ers.
On the season, the 6-foot-5 shooting guard out of Marquette is averaging 16.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists. He's shooting 39.0 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from the three in those 14 games.
Nevertheless, Blue is no stranger to life in the NBA. After going undrafted last summer, he found a spot on the Philadelphia 76ers' training camp roster before being cut in October. He later found himself on a 10-day contract with the Boston Celtics in January, when the team lost both Avery Bradley and Jerry'd Bayless to injuries. While he only played a total of 15 minutes in the three games he appeared in as a Celtic, it's clear that he is on the NBA radar, and with a little more work, perhaps he'll find himself in the big leagues on a guaranteed contract someday soon. And if he continues to play as he has lately, he might get that opportunity sooner rather than later.
In two games last week, Blue scored a total of 56 points in match ups against the Erie BayHawks and Sioux Falls Skyforce. More importantly, he did so efficiently, knocking down 20 of the 39 shots he attempted. And on Sunday night, he had his best game of the season. In 38 minutes, Blue scored a career-high 47 points and shot an efficient 10-for-18 from the field and 6-for-11 from three. He also attempted 24 free throws, making all but three, and to top all of that off, he grabbed five rebounds and dished out five assists, while committing just two turnovers.
The 87ers ended up losing this one by a small margin, but may have walked away with the victory had Blue not been in foul trouble. In the third quarter, he was limited to just seven minutes of action after picking up his fourth foul. However, he proved to be a handful in that short time, scoring 14 of the team's 23 points. The Jam took advantage of the situation, outscoring the 87ers by 15, which gave them a 99-81 lead entering the final frame. Led again by Blue, the 87ers nearly completed a comeback in the fourth quarter, but fell short, losing by a final score of 119-113.
With a little less than a month of the regular season remaining, Vander Blue appears to have hit his stride. However, with a 11-28 record, the Delaware 87ers find themselves at the bottom of the D-League with the worst record, and their chances of making the Playoffs are all but over. But if Blue can continue his recent surge, there is still chance for him to make an NBA roster.