Huddled in the corner of the visiting locker room at the Barclays Center, away from the television cameras and microphones and hoopla of another Trail Blazers victory, Earl Watson confidently summed up what everyone on his team believes but has been reluctant to say aloud.

“This record is real,” the Blazers’ resident sage said, before adding. “This all came together quicker than anyone ever thought. Which is amazing.”

At this point, it might not be hyperbole to call the Blazers’ early-season run amazing. They coolly and confidently dispatched of yet another victim Monday night, defeating the $103 million Brooklyn Nets 108-98 before a sellout crowd of 17,732.

It was their seventh consecutive victory — the longest for the Blazers since they won 13 in a row in December 2007 — and improved their record to a surprising 9-2, their best since opening the 1999-00 season 10-1.
The Blazers’ mantra throughout their early-season hot streak has been to live in the moment and stay hungry. They’ve accurately and openly talked about how young the season is and how far away the playoffs are.

But with each decisive victory, with each test passed, there is a belief bubbling behind the scenes that greater things are on the horizon. The naysayers will point out that the Blazers have built their impressive record against teams with losing records — they’re 7-0 against sub-.500 teams — and have mustered a measly 2-2 mark against teams with winning records. The injury-ravaged Nets (3-7), who played without two starters and their Sixth Man, were merely the latest losing team to fall.

But that criticism has fallen on deaf ears.

“I haven’t heard that, but I’m sure people are talking about it,” Wesley Matthews said. “I’m sure there are people waiting for us to go on a five, six-game losing skid, go back to how we were. “(They’re waiting) for us to start taking too many shots, (they say) we shoot too many threes, we’re not aggressive, all that other stuff. Blah, blah, blah. That’s cool. At the same time, we need to keep practicing, keep going at it. Our locker room is still tight. We keep playing every game to win.”