Will Increased Expectations Help or Hurt the Philadelphia 76ers and Their Fans?

Michael FoglianoAnalyst ISeptember 9, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 23: Head coach Doug Collins of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts during the game against the Boston Celtics in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center on May 23, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers are a revamped team entering the 2012-2013 NBA season. With eight new faces and an improving core, both the fans and the organization have high hopes for this season.

With the addition of Andrew Bynum alone, expectations from fans immediately soared, and you can't blame them for it. The reasoning is completely justified, and it's a great thing to see a large fanbase again.

This is the first time since the Allen Iverson era that the Sixers will be a legit force in the Eastern Conference.

Why? Because the way they are built this year is the perfect environment for everyone involved.

Bynum can flourish on his own, Evan Turner is finally a primary option offensively where he's surrounded by shooters, Jrue Holiday has the capability and right supporting cast to fully break out, the bench is deep, I could go on but I'll spare you the time.

Bottom line: On paper, this team is loaded with versatility.

But then again, that's just on paper. We play the games for a reason, and this is also where high expectations come into play as sometimes unfavorable.

In a recent interview with CSNphilly.com, general manager Rod Thorn told Dei Lynam, "In my brief time here I think it is the most excited I have seen our fans. The expectation level has risen..."

Now don't get me wrong. I'm all for the anticipation and high hopes, but does it go too far? Sure, fans have every reason to be excited, but it wouldn't be out of line to make the argument that the high expectations have negative effects.

The Sixers are a young team with eight guys under the age 25. Regardless of talent level, it's not good to put this type of weight on their shoulders, especially when the weight is coming from Philly fans (let's be honest, we're all victims of this).

Although the core has stayed put, there are a handful of guys playing with each other for the first time, so there will still be the traditional growing pains.

We've seen this go too far in Philadelphia (cough, Eagles!, cough, cough) before where everyone was hit by it. Let's not repeat the result of counting our chickens before they hatch.

It's hard to find a definitive answer to the question of whether it helps or hurts because it's a double-edged sword.

There's no doubt the Sixers have a lot of potential this season and it's great thing the fans are excited. But nothing hurts more than false hopes and falling down hard on your expectations.