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The Mavericks should capitalize on the Lakers' defensive struggles

Dallas continues their Los Angeles visit with a matchup against the Lakers. LA's weak defense may be an opportunity for the Mavericks to overcome their poor shooting.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

What did the Lakers do over the offseason?

The Lakers have had a rough couple of years, a problem in part their own making. But on top of questionable management decisions, the team has been plagued by injuries, including a season-ending broken leg in lottery pick Julius Randle's very first game last year.

But that garbage fire of a season landed them the second overall pick in this year's draft, and on top of drafting D'Angelo Russell, the team added a slew of veterans over the offseason, including Brandon BassRoy Hibbert, and Lou Williams.

What have the Lakers done lately?

Despite their 0-2 record against not-the-best of the West, they look to be a different (if not exactly good) team.

Although Russell is still trying to find his footing, Randle and Kobe are both healthy, and new Lakers Hibbert and Williams have given the team more depth. Compared to last year, the Lakers have managed to breathe a little life into their offense, putting up over 110 points in both of their losses.

What statistic will determine the game?

Unfortunately, in both cases the Lakers gave up more than 110 points, allowing the Kings to run away with an incredible 132 points. It's obviously early, but starting the season No. 30 in the league in points scored by your opponent doesn't bode well.

Dallas has had trouble making shots (the team is shooting 41 percent over the last two games), but LA doesn't seem prepared to put up much of a fight. This could be a good chance for the team, perhaps including Chandler Parsons (but maybe not Deron Williams), to get into a better rhythm on offense.

How to watch

The game tips off at 8:30 p.m. CT on Fox Sports Southwest. You can watch it on Time Warner Cable SN if you happen to live in LA, on Fox Sports Southwest in the Dallas area or on NBA League Pass (TV or online), but the game will not be nationally televised.