The Los Angeles Clippers have two perennial All-NBA players in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, and now have one of the best coaches in the league in Doc Rivers.
"The expectations are great," said Rivers. "I don't want us to shrink from that at all. I don't want us to run from that, but what we've got to get our guys to understand is expectations are one thing. Realization is a whole different thing, and just because you're expected to do anything doesn't mean you've arrived.
"We have not arrived. We didn't win a playoff series last year. So we have a lot of work to do as a group. We should expect to do that work. We have to expect that it's going to be much harder and we have to embrace it and do it."
Rivers has analyzed Clippers' game films from last season and also talked to players working out at their facility. Rivers doesn't see the need to make major changes, crediting Vinny Del Negro for providing a solid foundation.
"Listen, they won 56 games, so they're not all bad," Rivers said. "That's why I'm watching all the films, because there are things that you absolutely want to continue to do. Vinny did so many good things here. And you want to continue to do some of those things, and then you want to add some of the areas where you think you can make improvements.
"As athletic as we are, we didn't run enough. We have to get up and down the floor more offensively. We have to do a better job of our spacing offensively. And we have to find a way to close games. Over anything, that's what stands out. We have to execute as a group better. Each guy has to buy into that execution, and so there's things we have to do."