A record of 3-5 may not sound that good, and to most, it isn't. It's below average. But for the New Jersey Nets, 3-5 is a step in the right direction.
For a team that began last season 0-18, having three wins after eight games is an accomplishment.
Now I'm sure Nets players would rather be better than 3-5, but as a Nets fan, I accept it. Am I aiming low? No. How could I after their 12-win debacle last season?
This Nets team is practically a completely different one than last year's, and that's a good thing. Their two best players, Devin Harris and Brook Lopez, remain, but they have complementary pieces like Travis Outlaw and Anthony Morrow to assist.
Avery Johnson, the new head coach, has been solid thus far. I'm sure neither he nor his players are aiming for mediocrity, but at this point, that is unfortunately acceptable.
What makes mediocrity good? When it is an improvement from straight-up horror.
And who's to say that the Nets won't get better? They most likely will. They're still learning how to play with one another. This team will scratch and claw for victories, and I wouldn't be surprised if they end up fighting for a playoff spot.
As we saw against the Heat, though, this team can't play with the big boys yet. But they're moving in the right direction.
From here, I think they will continue to improve. Because they're better than 3-5. The Nets are a solid team, and soon their record will show it.
That will be a welcome change from last year.