Just throwing this out there. First Year Kawhi scores 20+ per game: age 24. DeMar DeRozen: 24. LaMarcus Aldridge: 25. Steph mother*****ing Curry: 24. Victor "sniff... I'm not crying, you're crying!" Oladipo: 25. Julius Randle: 24. Klay Thompson: 24. Hell, why not? Joe Johnson: 24; Jimmy Butler: 25. I mention these guys because, unlike other guys such as CJ McCollum or Isaiah Thomas (both age 24 for their first, by the way), these guys didn't suddenly come out of nowhere as terrific scorers because they finally got the minutes. They build it up over time. They were guys who came into the league at various levels of poor-to-mediocre offense and built themselves into high-level scorers (Randle, I guess really we'll see, but I threw him in there just because he fit the criteria so far). They started out rough. Then they were okay. Then they were solid. Then they were very good. Then they were elite. They just worked their way into being elite scorers.
I think Gordon does that his age 24 season. He fits the mold. This playoffs should be a reason for us to put it in his hands more (who else leads without Vuc, and dear God don't let us re-sign him). Yes, he's still raw in some ways. No, he's not Kawhi, or DeRozen, or any of those guys. That's what's great about that list of guys. Those guys are all different, all had to learn different things to be the elite scorers they are/were. Some were scorers in college who had to learn how to do it at an NBA level (Curry, for one). Some were super-raw talents who everyone thought could do it, but it took time (Aldridge, Johnson). Some were guys who weren't supposed to have high scoring ceilings at all, but worked their way into it (Kawhi, Klay).
I'm not saying Gordon for sure does this. I just wanted to remind everyone that he hasn't NECESSARILY plateaued as a scorer, and he could still be elite. I see so many people say "We don't have that guy yet" with such certainty. But we still might. Tonight Gordon showed that he can put up 25 in a playoff game against one of the best defensive teams in the league, while guarding one of the best offensive players in the league. He did it in a variety of ways, when the defense knew he was all we had at that point. Yes, we lost big tonight. Yes, we lost big the other game this series he put up 20. But remember that we used to say 'Dipo only had big nights when we lost, too. It wasn't 'Dipo's fault we lost so much. It isn't Aaron's fault we're losing this series. I think Gordon makes another stride forward next year as a scorer, especially if Vuc leaves (please, God, leave).