The Brooklyn Nets have their first taste of success in a while, and it will only continue.

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20: D'Angelo Russell
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20: D'Angelo Russell /

1,000. That is the number of days since the Nets last had a winning record. 4 seasons ago. That is the last time the Brooklyn Nets had a winning season at 44 wins.

To say that the Nets have come along way since the 2013-14 campaign would be a gross understatement. There are currently 0 returning players from that 2013-14 season, 0 from the 2014-15 season, and only 2 from the 2015-16 season.

The work that Sean Marks has done, bottoming out and building from scratch is incredible to say the least.

Starting with the foundation of a harmonious roster and an organization with direction and an identity, Sean Marks has changed a once laughingstock of the NBA into an exciting, gritty, and young basketball team.

But, if we have learned anything from no-nonsense demeanor, the Nets will not settle for mediocrity. Even with the season-ending knee injury to guard Jeremy Lin, the Brooklyn Nets should expect success and consistency this season.

Together, we will explore why the Nets have surprised some people this season and why they will continue to surprise more and more.

Reason 1: (D’Angelo Russell)

In only three games, D’Angelo Russell has been what most fans dreamed of him being. Averaging 21 points a game, shooting at above .500, and averaging 7 assists. Assuming that these numbers hold, this is the stat line of a borderline all-star, especially in a “star-less” Eastern Conference.

Given that this is only three games into the season and most teams are still jelling, Russell seems to be fitting in comfortably at this moment. Recency bias would dictate that the Brooklyn Nets clearly won the Lakers trade and while that may be a grossly premature statement, Russell has what looks like a bright future in Brooklyn.

Jeremy Lin’s injury hurt the Nets playoff chances greatly, a valuable ball-handler and scorer gone in a second off of an unlucky fall. However, the flip-side to this is that now there is no question and who the number one guy is on the court. And that is number one: Russell’s play.

This Nets team is a project and it is important for the young guys – D’Angelo, Allen, and Jarrett – to rush into the fire and get used to NBA ball. It is vital that D’Angelo is getting experience as the number one guy because with time, he will have to be that guy.

Reason 2: (DeMarre Carroll)

DeMarre Carroll, with what could have been one of the more telling plays in Friday’s game against Atlanta, strips the ball after a rebound, pops out to the three-point line and nails a three, effectively bringing the Nets’ lead to 10.

Against one of his former teams, Carroll finally looks like the guy he was back in his Atlanta days. After slimming down, Carroll looks back to being the nimble pesky perimeter defender and the lethal three-point shooter that Toronto expected him to be.

Back at scoring near 15 points a game and 43% from the three-point line is exactly the stat line the young Nets need if they expect to be fighting for a playoff spot this season. Carroll’s veteran presence in the locker room cannot be underestimated and if he his back to how we was playing when he was a Hawk, then the Nets are going to be a tough team to play.

Keep in mind, Carroll was a salary dump, along with a first-round pick. Thank you Sean Marks, thank you so very much.

Reason 3: (Eastern Conference)

Finally, as the landscape would have it, the Brooklyn Nets happen to be in the “Least-ern” Conference. A conference that lost many of their all-stars this offseason and a conference that had previous playoff teams completely rebuild their roster.

As of now, the Eastern Conference has 5 playoff locks – Cleveland, Boston, Milwaukee, Toronto, and Washington. Even those five teams have had their struggles so far this season and the last two spots are as wide open as ever.

With teams such as Charlotte, Miami, Philadelphia, and Detroit battling for these last two spots it should inspire hope among Nets fans. These teams have a lot to prove – as do the Nets- and as the season continues we will get a glimpse on how the Nets compare to these teams, but at the moment, the Playoffs are wide open for the Nets.

The next seven games for the Nets only include two teams with legitimate playoff claims, the Denver Nuggets and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The other five consist of two matchups against the disaster that is the Phoenix Suns, a game against the Orlando Magic, a matchup against cross-town rival New York Knicks, and a first look at Lonzo Ball and his LA Lakers in the Staples Center.

The Nets have been blessed with a relativity light schedule to open the season that should serve to be a confidence booster and hopefully give them some momentum heading into November. As I said, the Nets have surprised people so far and they will only continue to do that until the end of the season.