Los Angeles Lakers point guard Jeremy Lin turned 26 years old on Saturday as he celebrated his first birthday in LA since being traded earlier this offseason.
Lin, who was traded to the Lakers from the Houston Rockets in July, is expected to have a great year in the upcoming season as he could earn starting spot with the Lakers depending on Steve Nash's health.
The 26-year-old point guard averaged 12.5 points and 4.1 assists per game last season, but his numbers were not good enough to maintain his starting role as he was edged by Patrick Beverley in the rotation.
Heading into the final year of his contract and his first season as a Laker, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders is convinced that the former Harvard standout will have another breakout year in the 2014-15 NBA season.
"I think he could have a good season in Los Angeles," Kennedy wrote. "He should get the chance to start again and I think he'll get more touches than he did in Houston."
Kennedy pointed out that expectations are not that high anymore compared to the past two seasons in Houston, and his current situation could benefit Lin in the long run.
"He shouldn't have as much pressure on him anymore since the crazy expectations have been lowered a little bit in recent years," Kennedy wrote. "Coming off of Linsanity in NY, people were expecting him to be a superstar and I think that was unrealistic. In Los Angeles, I think he'll put up good numbers and surprise some people. He has received a ton of criticism over the past two years, to the point that he has become somewhat underrated. I think he'll do well and playing in L.A."
Lin, who will become an unrestricted free agent after next season, said in an interview that he is getting comfortable since he was traded to the Lakers, pointing out that he is already used to the spotlight after four successful seasons in the NBA.
"It's incredible. It's a blessing," Lin said via San Jose Mercury News. "I am a lot more comfortable now than I was in the beginning. Going into my fifth year, I'm able to handle that now more than ever. I put more pressure on myself now than what I feel from the outside."