Weak offense holding the Lakers back?

The Lakers are one of the NBA’s best defensive teams so far this season, but their offense is near the bottom of the league. It could explain why their 10-5 record to start the season could be considerably better.

After all, the Lakers are holding opponents to 89.4 points, the fifth-lowest mark in the league, on 40.9 percent shooting (third-lowest). Chicago has the league’s best defense, giving up 85.0 points, and Philadelphia is best at opponents’ shooting (40.6 percent).

Offensively, the Lakers are averaging 93.3 points, which is only 19th-best in the NBA, on 45.7 percent shooting. The Miami Heat, Thursday night’s opponents, are averaging a league-best 106.2 points on 48.7 percent shooting.

“We’re trying to find our way offensively,” coach Mike Brown said. “You can see in stretches where it is really discombobulated. The ball comes to a stop. I’d like to feel if we don’t score, we can still win games. Hopefully, our guys understand we can win with defense.”

The Lakers scored only seven points in the third quarter of their victory Monday over the Dallas Mavericks, one more than the franchise record for the fewest points in a quarter in the shot-clock era, set in 1977. They finished with 73 points, which is three more than the club record for the fewest points in a game, set in 2002.

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