I don't think our problem as fans is from heightened expectations.
I'd argue the opposite.
In the past what kept us going was 'wait 'til next year.' Every fall we felt we had a chance to make the playoffs, and in a few years with some luck and good choices by management we could be a very good team. In the meantime, we'd be content with some guys playing hard, because they were just grateful to be in the NBA and were looking for their ticket out. Or a raise.
Now we have no such hope, no dreams before us. We've seen what this team could become, and it somehow became Just Another Clipper Team.
Despite all the potential, the money spent on players, coaches and training facilities, we're faced with a club that seems it will be in the lottery again. And that is acceptable -- heck, the Heat are probably going to make the lottery, too.
But what is not acceptable is that we see no future with these guys. It's like we got drunk Saturday night, woke up Sunday morning, looked over and realized we'd gone to bed with our ex. And now she was older.
I'm not quite at the point of saying we need a 'really stupid and futile gesture be done on somebody's part'; (you know you're in bad shape when you look to Bluto for inspirational quotes). But I'm almost there; in the meantime, March Madness harkens.