Do you remember how Avery Johnson was fired? Or any other GM/Coach combo that has ever been fired? Most if not all have lost their jobs due to not controlling their expectations. Look at the Utah Utes and BYU Cougars football seasons. Both teams’ fans came in with huge expectations and both were let down. Let down due to not managing expectations. In the world of sports and marketing, it is an organization’s job to put a good enough team on the playing field that fans are happy enough to go see and make sure fans are happy when it is said and done.
The Jazz came into the NBA preseason with expectations of making the playoffs while still developing young talent. When I say make the playoffs, I mean like the 8 seed. Then the preseason happened and the fan’s expectations sky rocketed. I heard fans talking about home court in the playoffs. I even heard a couple talking about a 2 seed in the playoffs. Talk about not controlling expectations.
Then Jazz started losing. They started the season 2-4 and continued in mediocrity through out the first half. Capping the losing way off with a 7 loses in 9 games. Then the expectations stumbled down. The trade rumors began to fly around and the questioning of Ty Corbin heated up.
Fast forward to now. The Jazz have 5 more games in the month of January and they have been hot. They are 7-2 this month. According to Hoopsstats.com, the Jazz are top 10 in the league overall. With the next 10 games just as winnable, expectations are starting to go up. Kragthorpe is already planning on going to the playoffs. SLCdunk.com is already talking about the 5 seed. I personally am going to stick with my preseason hope of a 5 seed (Memphis is losing to Indiana as I write this so maybe a four? I know, too optimistic, right?) How are the Jazz going to manage these rising expectations?
If you look at past experience the answer to managing the expectations is a roller coaster. However, I plead for a different answer. Just decide what the Jazz are going to be and be consistent. You can only ride a roller coaster so many times before you never get back on. David Locke believes this is starting to happen. I can only hope he is right.