Now that the season is over the Nets can really get work. By getting to work we mean team president Billy King can begin doing what he needs to make the Nets into a contender.

As bad as the Nets record looks -they fell to 24-57 after Monday’s 105-103 loss to Charlotte- the team proved the there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The Nets are in Chicago for their season finale on Wednesday.

Every player on the Nets roster deserves credit for not allowing the off-the-court distractions to hurt their focus. The trade of Devin Harris, the construction of the Barclays Arena and new ownership were all distractions that could’ve really hurt the team.

Granted the team missed the playoffs anyway, after winning just 12 games in 2009-2010, this season could’ve been just as disastrous. But the Nets fought through it and even had a five-game winning streak in the beginning of March.

Nets coach Avery Johnson was disappointed with Monday’s loss, but lauded his team for the hard work it’s put in this season. “Give our guys a lot credit. They came out in the second half and really played hard,” said Johnson. “They hung in there and persevered, which they’ve been doing all year under all sorts of circumstances.”

Brook Lopez, who showed a lot of promise offensively with 10 30-point games, likes the Nets foundation and expects his team to build. “I know we have a lot of good guys here,” Lopez said. “Whatever happens, [we] just [want] guys with winning attitudes and guys who want to be here.”

Johnson, despite the losses, saw a lot of positives from his team. “I think we’ve done some exciting things this year,” Johnson told the YES Network. “It’s been a good new experience.”

The hope for the Nets is that “new experience” turns into a winning experience next season. The Nets will have a lot to work with, including multiple draft picks, a brand new point guard-center combo in Deron Williams and Lopez, a budding forward in Kris Humphries, as well as a ton of cap space.

There won’t be any ticker-tape parades in Newark in 2011, but next year will be here faster than you can blink.