Last season, the Oklahoma City Thunder entered the season with absolutely zero expectations after a 23-win season the year before. Not one single person believed the Thunder would win more than 35 games and believed the Thunder would continue to keep building on young talent but fall short of the playoffs.
Because nobody believed in the Thunder last season, it was one of the best season's ever from a fans perspective. Thunder fans had the chance of witnessing something amazing.
Russell Westbrook grew in front of our eyes last year. Kevin Durant somehow managed to improve so much that he was overlooked for the Most Improved Player. Serge Ibaka arrived and took the defensive scene by storm and blocked his way into Thunder fans hearts.
And of course I have to mention how jaw-dropping awesome the playoff series against the Lakers was. The Thunder could have been swept that series and not one single Thunder fan would have been disappointed.
Last season was a dream because the Thunder did so much when the NBA community thought they'd do so little.
This year is a different story. Absolutely everybody and their moms has the Thunder AT LEAST grabbing the No. 5 seed. Quite a few journalists actually have the Thunder knocking off the defending champs and losing in the finals.
Bill Simmons of ESPN and Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated both have the Thunder winning more than 60 games and getting to the finals.
Too much? I'll keep going.
J.A. Adande of ESPN has Serge Ibaka actually winning the Defensive Player of the Year award over Dwight Howard. Oh, and just in case you're wondering, Ibaka doesn't even start yet.
Numerous journalists have Jeff Green, James Harden and Russell Westbrook winning the Most Improved Award.
The Durantula might as well make some space in his trophy room right now since 95 percent of the media has him winning the MVP.
Now don't get me wrong, if all of this happens it will be like five Christmas mornings combined into one. I probably will not stop smiling for a minimum of two weeks.
But let's be realistic, all of this hype is too much.
Let's not forget, this team is a bunch of 21-22 year olds. It is possible that all of this extra attention and hype could get into their heads. Also, this season won't be nearly as fun for the fans because everybody feels like such enormous success is expected.
If you're a Thunder fan and have paid attention to all the media attention towards the team this year, you secretly would be disappointed if the Thunder did not at least match their win total from a season ago.
Even though you could probably blame all this extra attention on LeBron James and the Miami Heat. The media sees the Thunder as the good guys and the Heat as the evil trio.
But that should not be the sole reason for the media to set unreasonable expectations for the Thunder squad this year. Not only is it putting pressure on the team, it's ruining our fun as fans to watch them.
Having hype is great. But having an enormous amount of it is asking for disappointment.